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Us 41, Washington 25, United States 23, Tripoli 22, Mr. Hicks 21, Clinton 19, Nordstrom 15, U.s. 13, Mr. Thompson 11, Fbi 11, Stevens 8, Benghazi 7, Gadhafi 6, Obama 6, Africa 5, Sharyl Attkisson 5, Mrs. Clinton 5, George Bush 4, Mr. Chaffetz 4, Syria 4,
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  CSPAN    Washington This Week    News/Business.  

    May 12, 2013
    2:00 - 6:01pm EDT  

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>> a spontaneous reaction to a video [indiscernible] how long was it before the fbi was allowed access into benghazi to examine the crime scene? >> 17 days. >> was the crime scene secured during that time? >> no, it was not. we repeatedly asked the libyan government to secure the crime scene, but they were in a bill to do so -- but they were unable to do so. >> the fbi was sitting in aaa-- tripoli for weeks waiting for the approval of the libyan government to travel to benghazi. -- in tripoli for weeks waiting for the approval of the libyan government to travel to benghazi. they were denied access into benghazi, right? >> correct.
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>> what were they doing with their time? >> they were interviewing witnesses that they could find and meet with in tripoli, and they were also engaging with the government in order to develop a cooperative investigation with the libyans, who sent an investigator to benghazi. >> were you interviewed by the fbi? >> i was never interviewed by the fbi. >> never? nice story. i yield back my time. >> we now go to the gentleman from nevada. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you to our witnesses for being here. it is my understanding that we have had nine oversight hearings on the benghazi -- since benghazi, the horrific attacks on september 11, 2012. like many of my colleagues have expressed of the family, i believe we need to continue to do everything within our power as congress to get to the solutions and the recommendations that will prevent this from happening again.
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in addition to our condolences, the things that we need to do most is our jobs, to come up with the recommendations to prevent this. one of the overall conclusions of the accountability review board was just that, "that congress must do its part to meet this challenge and provide necessary resources to the state department to address security risks and meet mission imperatives here co that was -- and meet mission imperatives." it was a direct statement out of the review board recommendation. i think each of you agree that congress must do its part, am i correct? yes or no, real quick. >> yes.
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>> so, mr. chairman, i just would hope that after this hearing, after nine oversight hearings, that we will begin to work on some specific recommendations that we can bring forward, and that all of us working together can do our job to protect our embassy. i think that is what the public wants, i believe and hope that that is what the families want, for the memory and their legacy of those who lost their lives. and i would say it does cost money. mr. nordstrom, i know that you say it is not just about money, but it is possibly about prioritizing considerations. in the past, my colleagues on the other side have not been willing to make the kinds of serious and sustained commitments to funding that are necessary for large-scale and long-term security projects like building facility improvements, for example.
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>> will the gentleman yield briefly? >> may i? >> of course. >> thank you. so with the 2011 and 2012 budget cycles, the budgets gave the state department hundreds of millions of dollars less than what was requested. the fiscal year 2013 budget as proposed by the other side proposed even more cuts. they want to reduce international affairs budget by more than $5 billion less than it was in fiscal year 2012. that is a 9.8% cut to diplomatic security when extrapolated across the whole foreign affairs budget. by fiscal year 2016, the proposed budget by the other side further cuts funding to international affairs by another $5 billion. this represents a 20% cut to diplomatic security when extrapolated over the entire
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foreign affairs budget. so these are serious and significant cuts, and we cannot pretend that they don't have consequences. i know that my colleagues have talked several times about holding people accountable. well, i hope that one of those groups we will hold accountable are ourselves. as members of congress, to do our jobs, to properly fund the safety of our embassies so that this never happens again. i urge my republican counterparts to work with us in a bipartisan effort to actually fund these improvements to our embassy security and to follow through on the 29th arb recommendations that have already been made, and those that we believe have already -- should also be supported in this hearing.
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thank you, mr. chairman. >> we now go to the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. meehan. >> it was asked specifically the question as to whether or not the funding issues impacted the actions that took place, and she said no. i am really intrigued at this point in time by some of the commentary, because one of the things i would like to follow up on the questioning to mr. nordstrom, that came to you from mr. lankford, some of the decisions that were made. being in benghazi, because i am going to tell you, i am struggling to find out how we had the united states ambassador in a marginally safe american compound, in an increasingly hostile area, on an iconic day like september 11, with limited security. i think there are some issues that you were talking about first, decisions that were made about allowing occupancy in the first place.
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could you tell me quickly about how that was enabled to be approved? >> that is the same question that i have to this day. >> according to the law, it appears that it must be signed off by the secretary of state, and there was no delegation. >> certainly for parts of it, yes. >> following up, on july 31, in fact, i go back on the record, there were 16 special forces in libya, 14 department of state personnel. on august 31, shortly before that had been reduced to six individuals in tripoli, three in benghazi. why the cutback on security? >> again, that is one of the questions that i had. i have never seen it addressed
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to me, why are these decisions that we made turns down? in fact, there was a proposal that went back all the way to a month after we had arrived asking for $2.1 million for staffing to have 19 ds agents maintained throughout that time period. i still don't have any understanding as to what happened to that proposal. >> did you have confidence in the ability of the locals of the country who were purportedly designed to provide security to you? did you have confidence in their ability to provide that? >> it was the best bad plan. >> did you have confidence in that? >> no.
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>> did you report that to officials in washington, dc? >> we had also raised the issue of doing some counterintelligence setting of the people who had worked for us. ultimately, that was turned down even though we wanted it because the department of state wanted the funds for it which we did not have. it was our understanding that was going to be paid for by washington. >> mr. thompson, i know you have background in counterterrorism. i am going back on -- is his testimony provided by lieutenant colonel wood, who was doing service in tripoli and ultimately wanted to be in benghazi. he talked about facebook statements that were made about the situation in benghazi. there were a series of issues -- an rpg attack on the red cross in early may, a second attack in june. an attack against the un mission on april 6.
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an attack against a un convoy on april 10. an assassination attempt on the british ambassador on june 11 with rpg's, attempted carjacking on august 6. of two sst officers of the united states. in your mind, in your professional opinion, would this suggest to you that the facility in benghazi, via reasonable person with your experience or in the state department, would be likely to be considered a possible or even likely target of a terrorist incident? >> it certainly had all the indicators of that based on that history, yes, congressman. and in light of that and in light of your experience, would you have been happy with the idea that he was allowed to be maintained under less than the staffing that had existed only a month before or two months
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before and under standards that were only two in the entire that were not meeting the minimum requirements of safety? >> no, sir. >> what is normalization, and why were we doing this? >> that is a question that even the arb raised. i'm not sure. we saw it as, do more with less. i first saw that term in that budget proposal, a resource proposal, a month after we arrived. there was talk about normalizing our footprint. it was picked up in february when greg's predecessor had met with him, same thing.
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there was already a political decision that said, we're going to keep that open. that's fine, but nobody has come out and said that, that we made that risk and made that decision and take responsibility for. >> my time has expired. mr. hicks, did you have a response to that? >> normalization to us was moving towards being like a instead of having orense of being under siege in a hostile environment. we wanted to move towards normal life. removing a withdrawal , and anyds personnel movement towards our dogmatic
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security, personal managing more of a program -- diplomatic -- personnelenal managing more of a program. >> you mentioned earlier your wife being such an important part of your decision process. were you planning on bringing her to libya? >> mr. chairman, thanks. i was actually selected by an assistant secretary, jeff feldman, in tripoli. >> jeff and i spent time in 2006 in the lebanon war. as far as family returning to libya, normalization means you bring back dependence and so on. was that part of what was going on? >> kristin and i had a long talk on december 9.
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we felt optimistic about the all thery, even though security problems were going on. we faulted libyans were getting their political act together. aey were going to get constitution, their economy was going to pick up. my next project was to reach out to the board members of the american school and start working with them about the possibility of opening the school in september. that would've allowed me to bring my family in tripoli. that was a condition that my to my second unaccompanied assignment. >> i'm sure she is glad to have me home. >> yes. >> we go to the gentleman in new mexico. mr. carty and is his next -- cardenas is next. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
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my condolences to the families and everybody who suffered from this tragedy. i hope that you pray for us, that we hi as policymakers and not as politicians. mr. nordstrom, you stated here that you felt a security situation in benghazi was unsafe. you have been very clear on placing blame with a number of people. given everything that was going on at the time and everything you have to say and what you said on october 10, at any point did you suggest to ambassador stevens that he should not travel to benghazi on september 11, the anniversary, and that the situation was volatile and that the facility per your own assessment was not secure? had departed posted 26 of july, so i did not have an opportunity to do that.
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it was my undetandinthat heaid d discussed that. >> so you have your opinions today, but you did not have those same opinions back then? >> i was not opposed. i departed six weeks prior. think he is asking, what was your opinion on the day you left relative to benghazi? >> i had actually met with the ambassador prior to that as part of an out briefing. he and i talked about the way forward and the threats in the east were something that we talked about. i had mentioned that in october as well. it was very concerning to us, the increase in targeting. it was something i mentioned back to our headquarters in reporting. it was something that the talking about requesting static
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security. they highlighted growing extremism in the east. absolutely something that was discussed. we were concerned that we were not getting the resources. >> you stressed that you did stress concerns, but not to the point where you said, i would not go if i were you -- >> we never had that discussion, in part because the ambassador had not indicated any desire to travel to benghazi. my hope would have been that they would've had resources there to augment any such travel. >> and resources require other kinds of resources. there is a balance to creating the kind of atmosphere and
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security that would be required to meet concerns, correct? >> sure, and what we were looking at is that you are going to have a downsizing of personnel in tripoli. that would've impacted security in both locations if he had traveled because it would have been splitting up resources, which i think is ultimately what happened. >> mr. hicks, can you shed light on the discussion we are having? >> in the two planning meetings we had for ambassador stevens' trip to benghazi, john martek raised serious concerns about his travel. because of those concerns, the ambassador adjusted his plans for that trip. that he would go and a low-profile -- in a low-profile way.
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second, he eventually decided also to shorten his trip. he initially had planned to go on the eighth. he narrowed the timeframe that he would be in tripoli. the third step he he took was one public event that he planned would take place at the very end of his trip just before he left. >> basically you are describing what i feel to be consistent, what i have known of the ambassador, that he was very committed. he did listen to advice, but he was very determined and continued to do his job. >> exactly. he felt that he had a political imperative to go to benghazi and represent the united states there in order to move the project forward. >> i'm so proud of his commitment.
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that is very consistent with everybody who has come across them. .hank you so much >> thank you. we go to the gentleman from tennessee, mr. danger la. >> this hear is trut ow the families here want the truth, and the american people want the truth. i listen to this question today and there seemsbe a partisan field defining the tth truth. to deffinding the they would say, what difference does it make? some of the family members i talked to before the hearing, i guarantee you, this hearing makes a difference. we want to know why they made some of these decisions. the encouraging part i heard from the other side is that they feel you all should be protected.
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after your visit with congressman shay fits, did you feel -- congressman chaffetz, did you feel a shift in the way you were treated? >> i did. when assistant secretary jones ,isited shortly afterwards assistant secretary jones had visited and she pulled me aside and said i needed to improve my management style and indicated that people were upset. i did not know that my staff was upset at all. following my return to the united states, i attended chris's funeral in san francisco and then came back to washington.
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callednt secretary jones me into her office and delivered a blistering critique of my management style. she said she did not understand why anyone in tripoli would want me to come back. but before the at, you of praise for you got a call from secretary clinton and the present -- president. was there a seminal moment in your mind as to when all of this praise and appreciation turned into something else? >> in hindsight, i think it began after i asked the question about ambassador rice's statement on the tv shows. >> anyone listening to this hearing today, if they don't have a question -- there was a comment made about, there were a few people in libya who had a problem with this youtube video.
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the overwhelming evidence is that this was a terrorist attack. someone higher up decided to run with this fa├žade and kept it for a long time. i think everybody sitting here wants to know the answer why that was done. >> i was angry with the way i had been criticized. i felt like i had been convicted in absentia. backided i was going to go and try to redeem myself. >> what is your job right now? >> i'm a foreign affairs officer in the office of global intergovernmental affairs. >> a far cry from where you were in your level of capabilities. >> yes. >> when you came back to the
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united states, were you planning on going back to libya? >> yes. >> what do you think happened? criticism that i received, i felt that if i went back, it fell that i would never be comfortable working there. my family really did not want me to go back. we had endedn i s in af in 2006 and 2007. i voluntarily curtailed. i accepted an offer of no-fault curtailment. that means there would be no criticism of my departure. charge a pope, -- when he arrived, he expected there were be a good onward assignment of that. >> we have a president that has made it his policy not to knee-
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jerk or jump to conclusions when it comes to tragedies or events. but why did he do it in this case? this was a protest, due to a youtube video? i think we all know that's not true. >> thank you. can i just clarify? the job i have nn myow- curtailment and finding of this job that i have now, i had no meaningful implement. i was in a status called near eastern affairs over complements. the job is a significant emotion. -- demotion. i have been effectively demoted to a desk officer. >> let me just interject one thing at this time. in your opening statement, i
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,ote, and it's in the record you included an unclassified document reported 2-d from the president of the united states to the president of libya. is that correct -- to be from the president of the united states to the president of libya. >> yes. >> it looks like it was electronically transmitted. >> it's a cable. >> was it transmitted directly? >> yes. >> was it delivered to the president of libya directly? >> yes. >> does it mention terrorist attack anywhere else? i know this is september 17. the this describe unfortunate circumstances as terrorism to the president of libya? >> i believe it does. >> it's in his opening
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statement, delivered to everybody. >> these were inclusions. it says, thank you for responding to this tragic attack. i'm reading through this thing. it's in the record, but as far as i can tell, it speaks of it as a tragic attack. it does not speak to it after mrs. rice spoke. is that correct? >> i don't have it before me at this moment. >> we will deliver it to you to make sure. >> it's an outrageous attack. --it is an outrageous talk attack, but he does not talk about us fighting terrorism. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. i would like to join my
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colleagues on both sides of the aisle in expressing our condolences to the families. i want to quickly clear up a couple of loose ends from earlier testimony, then i want to ask a couple questions about the february 17 martyr brigade. on hicks, you testified numerous occasions that you never got a chance to read the classified arb report. you do have a security clearance. ?ou do have security clearance >> yes. inmr. thomson, you testified the question as to why your response team was not deployed -- one of the things you heard, it might not be to a safe location. did you train to be deployed in safe locations, or are you
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trying to respond to hotspots? >> hotspots. >> would there have been reluctance on the part of you or any of the men or women in your organization to go to libya or anywhere in the world that you were needed to protect americans? a very noble with and brave crowd. the answer is no. >> i didn't think so. >> mr. hicks, i want to talk inut what was going on libya at the time. there are just been a revolution. a newly elected president, democratically elected. we were involved through our nato partners in that. this was probably a win for the united states. we throw him under the bus on the sunday shows. you testified that may have
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been when the reasons reasons why the fbi was slow getting into it. damagedhink it overall our relationship beyond that with libya? >> it comp located things for that iper period of time. -- complicated things for that. of time. -- period of time. our relationship was valued higher than any other arab of the, over 50% population. >> isn't that one of the reasons that mr. stevens went to libya on that fateful day, to show support for what was going on in libya at the time? >> absolutely. >> there have been some reports floating around. mr. nordstrom, can you tell me what the role of the february 17 martyrs brigade was in helping to protect the consulate in benghazi? that was the unit that was
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provided to us by the libyan government. >> were you aware of any ties to that militia of islamic extremists? >> yes. we had that discussion on a number of occasions, the last of which was when there was a facebook posting of a threat to the named stevens and senator mccain, who is coming out for the election. i had met with some of my agents and then also with some annex personnel. we discussed that. >> you were in libya on the night of the attack. the februarye that 17 militia played a role in those attacks, was complacent in those attacks? >> certainly elements of demolition work complicit in the attacks. the attackers had to make a long approach march through multiple checkpoints that were meant --
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manned. >> mr. hicks and mr. nordstrom, i'm going to ask both of you this question. i'm stunned that the state department was relying on a militia with extremist ties to protect american diplomats. that doesn't make any sense. how does that happen? >> evening in afghanistan, where afghanistan are working with our military that are embedded and turn on them -- you mean in afghanistan, where afghanistanis you are working with our military that are embedded and turn on them, or saudi arabia, we had an attack in 2004, the saudi national guard protecting our facility reportedly ran from the scene and then it took 90 minutes before we could get help. >> i would imagine there's some people who would be -- americans who would be -- >> we could not agree with you more. as i said earlier, one of the things we ran into, that was the best bad plan, the unit that
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the libyan government had designated for vip protection. it's difficult to extract ourselves from that. >> i hope these hearings will result in us not having to rely on the best bad plans. i see that amount of time -- i'm out of time. >> we go to the distinguished gentleman from the great state of washington, chairman of the resource committee. >> thank you very much. let me add my voice to all of my colleagues that thank you for your service. mr. hicks, a want to follow-up on -- you may have answered this. i want to get a clarification. entering into questions regarding the lawyer that came in and was not allowed to go to the meeting because he
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wasn't qualified to go to that meeting. my question is to back up. the state department sent this lawyer. was you told why the lawyer sent to participate in all the meetings and all events associated with congressman z's visit?-- chafet >> it had never occurred before in my career. >> the state department did say this lawyer was going to participate in all of the meetings. >> yes. >> and then could not because of the protocol. you mentioned that the tone of the state department changed after the rice interview. >> it began to change. >> give us some examples of how things changed. >> i began to have my management style counseled by assistant
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when she jones. visited, she counseled me again on my management style and said that staff was upset. she delivered a very blistering critique of my style in washington and explained, i don't know why larry pope would want you back. >> that leads to an obvious question. ,rior to september 10, 2012 had you received any negative feedback from your superiors? >> no. chris and i had developed a very positive relationship. more always high -- morale was
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>> was disagreement to the extent that you felt that you were treated after this event compared to prior disagreements you may have had with your superiors? a scale of one to 10, 10 being the worst -- >> 10. >> after. that's what i would like to follow-up on. you mentioned that you feel in the job you have, it is a demotion from the qualifications that you have had in your career. have you talked to any of your colleagues regarding this? after a couple friends outside the department intervened with senior
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officials, deputy secretary burns and the director general said that i would be taken care of. the same thing the larry pope had indicated. i met with a crystal deputy assistant secretary for human resources. i talked to him about what operations might be available to me. basically the answer was that i would have to go through the normal bidding process for assignments and persuade someone that i should be hired. the conversation with debbie terry secretary burns was centered around discussions -- deputy secretary burns was centered around discussions of the head of the political section job there, which would be a very good job. he said he would support that, but i had to go through the process.
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it's a very long process. going through the process, i understand there are protocols. did that strike you as unusual am a someone with your background on the position you as someone with your background and the positions you had? >> i was surprised that i had to go through the normal process. >> and especially when the ambassador in mexico city had talked to secretary burns about bringing on is his political counselor -- me on as his political consular -- cousnelon. >> in your words, you will have full support of your colleagues if there is any retribution on this. onhink a bipartisan support anybody who comes for two has a difference of agreement on a thaty issue or a decision killed them americans deserves
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whatever support we can give to you -- four americans deserves whatever support we can give to you. >> for those of us who are able to get up and come back and forth, we're going to take about 10 minutes. i would ask the witnesses, you can either go through the back door the store to use the facilities that are available there without going into the public. we will reconven a0 minutes. thank you. >> the committee will come to order again. that weeen advised expect to have votes on the house floor approximately at 5:00. we can work until about five minutes into those votes. after that, we will adjourn. the expectation is we will not come back.
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for our three witnesses, for the families, and the attorneys, let me assure you, the end is in sight. with that, we go to the gentlelady from wyoming. >> i too want to thank you gentlemen for this long day and for the families, i offer my most sincere condolences. my constituents think about you all the time. first question, mr. nordstrom. do i understand you had responsibility for security in libya while you were there? >> that's correct. >> and then you left in july, is that correct? >> correct. >> before you left, did you make security recommendations to washington, d.c.? and out --ll, we do
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external report. , crime,re the situation political situation. a lot of the reporting i had done previously with washington. >> so they had recommendations from you, or not? >> it is my understanding, yes. they had wanted a transition plan on how we were going to to our local bodyguards. that was submitted to them february 15. was that implementation plan accepted? is it implemented? >> i never got any feedback from washington. i was never contacted by ds leadership or management from the date i left on the 26th to this date. the only time i had any interaction was preparing
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before the october hearings. they had never contacted me and asked me about my thoughts on libya. you knowcks, do whether security recommendations were implemented? were there security recommendations that were implemented? came on board and he was following up on many of the things that eric was working on before to strengthen our security posture in libya. after the attacks, john and i worked on a list of physical security improvements it had to in order foripoli us to remain there. i cabled that in to the department after congressman visited and chavifitz learned that that cable was not
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well received by washington leadership. to the air be's credit, the arb 's credit, he said that cable to undersecretary kennedy and recommended that it be implanted. >> -- implemenmteted. >> are you aware of any efforts by department officials to limit access to witnesse's information about the attack prior to their testimony before congress? >> i have never seen the classified arb report. the answer in my respect, yes. know whether the state department consciously sought to limit your awareness of certain information prior to your testimony before this committee? >> i'm not aware of that.
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let me ask you this, mr. nordstrom -- >> let me ask you this, mr. nordstrom. i want you to -- read an excerpt of an e-mail that bester stevens sent to you. the e-mail concerned a draft cable intended to request an extension of security personnel for the embassy which was ultimately sent on july 9. the ambassador wrote, gentlemen , i have taken a close look at the cable and edited it down and rearranged some paragraphs. my tension is to give more focus to what we are doing to end our reliance on tty support -- tdy rsupport. if it looks ok, please run it by ds and see if they wante it. can you briefly splay and what ambassador stephens meant -- explain what ambassador stephens meant when he said to run it by
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ds and see if they wanted front channel? >> the process by which we would send an official state department cable. i might have done that for prior requests. it was my advice to the ambassador that we do in fact send that front channel. within the departments, that is considered to be the official record. if i send something by e-mail or informally, it is still valuable, but unless it is on that cable, it is not official. my experience in the past was that as soon as we put those recommendations, as greg alluded to -- as soon as we put that onto an official cable, somehow we were seen as embarrassing the department of state because we are requiring them to live up to their end of the bargain. >> i think the gentlelady. we go to the gentleman from georgia. thanks to themy
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gentleman on the panel. we are grateful for you to be here today and for your decade upon decade of service. i know folks at u.s. posts across the world are confident who doeir men and woman it they do, who just say, hang on. . think you for the commitment my questions are followed up on my colleague from wyoming, thinking back to early july 2012. your back andu recall forth with charlene lam? >> vividly. >> what did you think of that decision-making process?
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.> it was unclear one thing that struck me through the whole time i was in libya was strange decision-making process, specifically, the undersecretary for management in any ways was dealing directly with lam. it was strange but there was that direct relationship. i never saw interaction from the secretary ds or our director. it was even more clear and october when we were all sitting up here. there was two levels that were not reflected. it was quite a jump between lam and the undersecretary. i felt that anyt that gas
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line was decidin l was deciding had been run under secretary kennedy. >> regarding the seriousness of that conversation, did you receive an explanation of why that request was denied that satisfied you? >> i did not. that was someed sort of explanation that it would be embarrassing or politically difficult for state department to continue to rely on dod, and there was an element of that. that was never fully verbalized. that was the feeling i got coming away from those conversations. >> following up on moving those discussions from back to front channel, what was the nature of your conversation with the ambassador, that this was such a serious issue that rather than leaving it with a no on back channels, he wanted to elevate
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that? >> that's exactly what it is. i recall back to our first meeting with congressman chaf fetz. that was the question that they posed to me, if you knew she was going to keep saying no, why did you keep asking? does it was the right thing to do, and the resources needed. -- because it was the right thing to do, and the resources needed. >> did you receive any feedback from washington whether a direct response to that cable or a back channel response to the fact that you elevated it to this front channel process? >> by the time we sent the one in july, i did not receive a response rat. that cable was never responded to, which is relatively unheard of in the state department when you send a request cable for anything. they get back to you. prior discussions about channel one, i had a number of
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conversations with my regional , where he was discouraging, to put it mildly, why do you keep raising these issues? ,> if you can characterize it between a nonresponse or a disagreement, when it comes to these issues of security for , were youersonnel receiving a nonresponse from washington, or was there disagreement in washington with your assessment of levels of need on the ground? >> i largely got a nonresponse. ,he responses i did get were you don't have specific targeting, you don't have specific threats against you. you're not dealing with suicide bombers, incoming artillery, and vehicle bombs like they are in iraq and afghanistan, so basically stop complaining.
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>> the gentleman's time has expired. thank you. we now go to the gentleman from illinois. >> thank you very much. i know it has been a long day. lots of questions and answers have been shared. last week, an unidentified individual described as a military special ops member appeared on national television to give an interview on the military's response to the attacks in benghazi. the man appeared behind a black screen in order to conceal his identity. he suggested that military assets in europe could have prevented the second attack in benghazi grade specifically he said this, -- benghazi. specifically he said, the european command was doing a
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training exercise not in the region of north africa, but in europe. they had the ability to react and respond. he further stated, we had the ability to load out, get on birds -- aircraft -- and fly there. has the ability to be there in 46 hours. he went on to conclude that they would have been there before the second attacks. let me ask if any of you gentlemen are familiar with this claim. >> yes. i saw it on television. >> in order to investigate the claim, last week ranking member cummings wrote a letter to secretary hagel asking for the defense department's reforspons.
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we have received that written response from the department. i would like to enter that letter into the record. >> when we have it, we will take it under advisement. >> in regards to the anonymous allegation that the cif could have arrived prior to the initiation of the second attack on the annex, the time needed for alerting the cif to land at the benghazi airport is greater than the approximately seven and a half hours between the initiation of the first attack and that of the second one. the letter also says this, the time requirements for notification loads and transit alone prevented the cif from being at the annex in time enough to change event. does anyone disagree with this statement? >> i think the only thing i
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would add to that, not being privy to the decisions on that valuable is that none of us, including the committee, had those details but for that person coming forward and making that allegation. that is the point that minority mr. cummings made, it is important to get these questions raised in this format otherwise we will continue to see those same kinds of allegations. feel that the answers have been provided, or that those answers have been provided in a credible way. i think it is much more apartment to get it done. very much.u the defense department's letter appears to be consistent with arb reports, which said this, and i quote, board found no evidence of any delays in decision-making or denial of support from washington, or from the military commanders.
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quite the contrary. the safe evacuation of all u.s. government arsenal -- perosnsonl from benghazi 12 hours after the initial tack and subsequently to ramstein air force base was the result of exceptional u.s. coordination and military response, and help to save lives of two severely wounded americans. who thatnow unidentified individual was on fox news, but according to the defense department, his claim is incorrect. mr. chairman, i wanted to get that into the record. >> will the gentleman yield yes -- yield? >> yes. .'m yielding to ms. maloney >> thank you very much.
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by all accounts, ambassador stephens was a remarkable man. was he aware how dangerous it was in benghazi? mr. hicks, were you aware how dangerous it was, yet he still made the decision to go there, correct? >> the gentlelady's time has expired. >> yes, the ambassador was aware of the security situation in benghazi before he went. we had the chance to out brief the departing printable officer. >> it is been said that all businesses very for evil to triumph is for a good man to do evil to triumph, a good man is to do nothing. i get the sense there may be other people listening to these
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testimony today that have answers that we don't have yet. i would encourage them to come forward as well. we have got a lot of good answers today thanks to these witnesses. i would like to start with mr. thompson. i am struck by your long and distinguished career of hostage rescue missions. some of these missions are still classified, but were successful. can you remind us where you were when these attempts began to unfold? >> at my desk at the state department. >> so you are at your desk at the state department. you asked to marshal resources and the team to help with the rescue effort, did you not? >> yes. my first call was to the national security council. >> in your testimony, you stated that you were told this was not the right time, is that correct? >> when i referred the question to the undersecretary for management's office, yes. >> if this was not the right
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time, when would be the right time? this is a source of frustration that the american public has, that i have. we're the greatest country in in the world, and we left people there, mr. hicks, and mr. stevens to defend -- fend for themselves when we had these resources. when would be the right time? >> there's no answer to that, sir. >> staying on the topic of time , would have been a reasonable thing in an uncertain situation such as this crisis to go ahead and assembled a team and put them on a plane? was there significant to medication on the plane that you could have pulled back a mission that was ready to deploy -- communication on the plane that you could have pulled back a mission that was ready to deploy? the team is staffed with
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interagency ct professionals. the answer to your question is yes, that lane that is funded by dod has a robust communication's suite trad. >> i know you have not been allowed to review or even contribute to the accountability review board's report. are you convinced that changes have been made so this will not happen again? >> no. >> that is troubling to me. i appreciate your candor. mr. hicks, you mentioned that at 2:00 a.m. you had a conversation with secretary clinton. is that correct? >> yes. >> at any time during that conversation, did she ask what resources you might be able to use or might need? >> yes. i asked for security reinforcements, and transport
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for the wounded. >> was there any indication the you'd receive air support? >> receive their support? >> she indicated that the marine team was being deployed to bolster our security posture. and that a c-17 would be coming down to take people back. >> no immediate military response? were on their way. >> did you tell the account a beat -- accountability review board in her interest in establishing a permanent presence in benghazi demo was that not ostensibly the reason the ambassador was going? >> i did tell a review board secretary clinton wanted
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the post made permanent. the ambassador was surprised. he looked both ways to the members of the board. factor in his decision was our understanding that the secretary intended to visit tripoli. >> he was surprised that his mission was to establish a permanent facility there? >> yes. >> that is your impression? >> yes. >> thank you for your time. >> would the gentleman yield? >> yes. one more time, the reason the ambassador was in benghazi, or at least one of the reasons? >> at least one of the reasons was to further the secretary's to wish that the post to become
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a permanent constituent post. thelso understood that secretary intended to visit tripoli later in the year and we hoped that she would be able to announce to the libyan people the establishment of a permanent post in benghazi at that time. >> thank you for yielding. >> we now go to the gentleman this has been a long day and there have been some interesting things said. one of the things that concerns me a bit, that these hearings have not found a smoking gun or even a warm slingshot. i, for one, we are not looking for that, we're looking for the truth. or ay not be a smoking gun warm slingshot, but we have four
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dead americans. that is what this business is about. i appreciate your willingness to be here with these families who are here, because the truth is important. i will ask a follow-up question. following up on a question from earlier about march 28, asking for more security he ask you about the intended recipient does expect them to leave or be briefed by that? >> she had an involvement, if i can take a step back. the teamsof having there, because they were a department of defense asset, the process required for that is something called an executive section from one cabinet had to another.
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must be signed by the cabinet head. secretary clinton. she would have done that, the initial deployment request, plus an answer -- extension in the fall, plus a second one in february. the facilities and saw a lack of security, something that her team -- she was briefed by the country team as she visited the site. the attacks against the facilities. certainly there is a reasonable expectation for staff for the would have briefed her on those points. >> could this be concerned about a dod presence being an embarrassment in an embassy? a short answer there. >> that's the way i took it. >> i have another question that has kind of been asked before.
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in establishing a permanent presence in benghazi, give me a quick flavor of what those discussions were like. >> crystal me in his exit interview with the secretary after he was sworn in, the secretary said we need to make benghazi permanent post and he said, i will make it happen. >> was washington informed of the ambassador's plan to travel to benghazi? fromshington was billion the ambassador was going and we advised them august 22nd or thereabouts. >> any concerns? given the timing and everything? >> there were none. >> based on your experiences in
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libya, do you believe that they remain in danger in such high threat countries such as libya? >> i believe foreign service officers serve a country where they need to be and in some places the risk they're taking is very high. >> in light of what we are seeing now, could this be avoidable from our lessons learned? >> from lessons learned, the security needs to be increased. but we need to increase strength, practices, training. again, and may not be quite understanding the question. >> what do you think needs to be done to read something like this from happening again? is it being taken advantage of or is there a denial process going on here? >> i think we have more to do. more than what has been for what -- put forward by the arb
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recommendations. >> this is something i think we can flush out over time. dod influence, as has been mentioned a few times by mr. nordstrom, from wanting opposed to be permanent in the area, you get the sense that it was an embarrassment as well? >> i never got that sense. >> that was more mr. nordstrom? >> that was specifically conveyed to both me and the prior detail. >> anything to add, mr. thompson? >> nothing in this context. >> you have been providing the truth and i appreciated. i yield back. >> would you mind giving me about 10 seconds back in? >> i will yield to the chairman. >> i will be brief. mr. hicks, colonel wood in the previous hearing with mr. nordstrom testified about trips
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back-and-forth of these military people like the four who were told not to get on the plane. during our time as deputy chief of mission, did those four during training ever go to benghazi? >> no. >> thank you. >> i thank each of you for being here all day today and, as mr. nordstrom started out, you let us know clearly this is not about politics but people. thank you for that. that is what it is. to the families, the people back home are standing with you. we have on believable questions i will submit to you that we will not cover today in terms of asking them but we will submit for you to answer, but their standing with you to get to the truth of this and they will gnaw sit until those questions have been answered.
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thank you to the chairman for this informative hearing. mr. thompson, you spoke earlier about the deployment of the specialist team and you thought it was important to do that. were there many of the regencies who thought that, other than you, that it was important? >> the fbi and dod specifically. >> it was not just you. outside the state department, the dod and the fbi both felt like it was the appropriate response to make sure that we provide that kind of force? >> people who are a part of the team could play with us were shocked and amazed0--- who deploy with us were shocked and amazed they were not called to go. whether that was shared by senior members in the institution, i do not know. >> but the dod and fbi had a contradictory response to what
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the state department's ultimate decision was? >> the state department does not make the decision. the national security council deputy committee issues the deployment. what transpired was a strong enough conversation from our department representatives that they were convinced it was not the thing to do. >> let me go back to the arb. everyone talks about how wonderful the process was. i see this as narrowing scope, and complete in its nature. i don't want to put words in your mouth, but you talked about affixing blame on the middle level or those career
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employees, not those that a senior local or the political appointments. is that correct? >> that's correct. >> did not say that is where the decisions are made, at the senior level? >> they insisted it was made at the assistant secretary at below which is a variance from what i have personally seen. >> you believe they are made at a much higher level. mr. hicks, you're nodding your head yes. is that corrveo. >> the arb in looking to place blame on a career employees ignored a whole lot of what he would say the decision makers in terms of assigning blame? >> absolutely. >> both of you agree? let me go a little further, mr. nordstrom. one last question and then i will yield to the gentleman from your top.
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as. at this, is it fair that all the blame got assigned to the diplomatic security component? aren't they just one component under the management euro? is that correct? >> it's absolutely correct. i do not believe it's fair. those agresource determinations are made by the deputy and a secretary for management. >> when we start assigning blame, if it was in complete in their analysis celek terms of who was to blame with regards an agency? >> that's correct. you fix the blame for the three people wonder the undersecretary of management and nothing to him? he either did not know what was going on with his subordinates
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or he did and did not care. >> will the gentleman yield to the gentleman from south carolina? >> i would be glad to yield to the gentleman. >> i know i do not have much time, but mr. hicks, i want to set the table for the next round. september 12th, 2012, did you receive an e-mail from beth jones but also copied victoria, patrick kennedy, and cheryl mills? you are on the distribution list. do you recall receiving that e- mail? >> i'm sorry. which e-mail? i was receiving a few hundred per day. >> that's fair. this one said, when he said his government suspected that former gaddafi machine elements carried out the attack, i told him that the group that conducted the attacks, ansar al sharia, are related to his longest extremists? >> i do believe i remember that e-mail. >> thank you, mr. chair. as a veteran of vietnam and iran, and understand that boots on the ground are the closest to the truth in the situation. you know more about what
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happened in benghazi than any bureaucrat or politician can. theg caught between political dictates of superiors and the chain of command, doing what's necessary to protect our citizens abroad, and understand the risks to have taken by showing up here today as well. thank you for having the courage to testify before us. recount on you to reveal the truth about the failures of this government and to protect the men and women who served in libya and how we can do a better job in the future. mr. thompson, earlier you mentioned that you hang out with some great and honorable groups. navy, army, air force, marines, shallow water sailors? >> all of the above. i might add, sir, from other agencies of government, also. intelligence community, department of energy, diplomatic security. >> this is part of your special security forces? >> interagency component of the
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foreign emergency support team. >> highly trained? >> very much so. we are not the operators. we are the facilitators and the people who bring the operation and coordinate all aspects of their response. we are not the ones kicking in the door, as the term is used to this day. >> you share a common defense, if i'm not mistaken -- a common ethos. >> yes. >> always watch your buddy's 6:00, never leave anyone behind. at least 15 special operators and highly skilled state department staffer available in tripoli but they were not dispatched to aid american under attack in benghazi. why were they not deploy to
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rescue the americans in benghazi? >> i cannot answer that. i was not on the ground. >> not sure that number is accurate. we did deployed people to benghazi. the first team went with seven members at midnight. the second team left at about 6:30 or 7:00 a.m. that morning. ourcould not deploy all of security personnel because we still had about 55 diplomatic personnel in tripoli that were under threat of attack. >> thank you very much. i yield the rest of my time to the gentleman from south carolina.
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>> mr. hicks, going back to the e-mail. justling clear, mr. chairman nothing would thrill me more than to release this e-mail, certainly not classified. we all had access. i had to do is go downstairs in the basement and look through it. thepe my colleagues on other side of the aisle will call for the state department to release this evidence as they are when they are unhappy with us. against that backdrop, this e- mail was sent on september 12th and i want to read you something from ambassador rice. "first of all, it's important to note there is an fbi investigation that has begun." this is on september 16th. it will take some time to be completed. i was an average prosecutor, but i did it for a long time. let me ask you this. are you aware of any crime
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sc that is improved with time? [laughter] >> i'm not a criminal investigator. >> trust me when i tell you crime scenes do not get better with time. they're not secure. people have access to them. they can walk through and compromise the evidence. would you agree with me that you would want to talk to the witnesses as close to the event as a possibly can? >> seems reasonable. >> you would want to search incidents as close to the time that you could. >> again, seems reasonable. >> ambassador rices saying the investigation has begun but she is also talking about a video and the reality of, and this is the point i want to drive home, is that it was a direct result of what she said that the bureau did not get to benghazi in a timely fashion. is that true or not true? >> it is my belief. >> you use the word in
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measurable. it was a measurable in its damage. but-- it was immeasurable. tell me what he meant by that. >> the fbi team was delayed. the libyan government could not secure the compound. it was visited by numerous people. one of the items taken from the compound was chris's diary which, through the extraordinary efforts, we were retrieve it and return that back to the department. there were other documents published that another journalist managed to acquire while visiting the compound. objectivehieving the of getting the fbi to benghazi very, very difficult and the ability of them to achieve their mission more difficult. >> i thank the gentleman. we now go to the gentleman from florida. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i think this is an important
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hearing and it makes all the difference to me to know whether we did all we could to aid our brethren in harm's way. it is part of the military ethos and our national character. mr. hicks, just to go back to come even though you believe help was needed, there was a special operations unit ordered to stand down, correct? >> yes. >> even though you thought air support was needed, none was sent. >> no air support was sent. >> no gun ships, and a fighter planes. >> only fighter planes were mentioned out of aviano. >> and a request for airspace other than the request to the libyan government, right? >> and that preceded the attack, if i'm not mistaken. >> when the order to stand down was given, who issued the order? we told that the lieutenant colonel told you he was ultimately responsible for issuing the order? >> he did not identify the person. >> you do not know if it was a
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combat commander or whether it was the secretary of defense for the president? >> i have no idea. >> since this incident has happened, have you been enlightened as to who was ultimately responsible for assuring the standouts? t> the right person to pose the colonel gibson. >> did she expressed support for getting military assistance to the people in benghazi? did she say she would request such support from the secretary of defense for the president of the united states? >> we did not discuss the issue. at the time, we're focused on trying to find and hopefully rescue ambassador stevens. that was the primary purpose of our discussion. a secondary purpose was to talk
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about what we read going to do in tripoli in order to enhance security there. >> you informed her that you in benghazi were in fact under attack? >> she was aware of the attack. we were in phase three. the attack, the first two had already been completed. there was a lull at the time. again, the focus was on finding ambassador stevens and what the tripoli response team was going to do. we had at that time no expectation that there would be subsequent attacks at the annex. >> you viewed it as secure at that point? inwe knew the situation was flux.
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>> when you spoke to president following the attack on the phone, did he say anything about deploying assets or why they were not deployed? >> i spoke to him on september 17th or 18th. >> i notice several days later, or did he say anything or was it to just commend you on your service? >> just to thank me for service and praising the whole team. >> i appreciate that. i think this has been a good hearing. there are still questions remaining. we need to know who gave the orders to stand down. we need to know why you have been demoted. we need to know why the secretary's chief of staff called the man spoke to you the way she did. >> will the gentleman yield? >> thank you, i yield to the committee chairman. >> always the right answer. mr. hicks, 2:00 a.m. and the secretary of state cause you personally -- not a common call. did she ask you about the cause
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of the attack? did she ask about the video, anything at all that would have allowed you to mayor to the question of how benghazi came to be attacked as far as you know? >> i do recall that being part of the conversation. what she was not interested in the cause of the attack and this was the only time you spoke directly to the secretary were you could have told her or not about the cause of the attack? >> yes, that is the only time when i could have, but i had already reported that the attack had commenced and twitter feeds were asserting ansar sharia was responsible. >> he did not have that discussion with her only because it was assumed since you had already reported that the cause of the attack was essentially as long as the extremists? >> yes. >> i thank the gentleman. ok, does the gentleman yield back? >> the gentleman yield back. we will not travel bigotry second round starting with mr. jordan. >> thank you.
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mr. hicks, in my first round, asked about sheryl landon indicated that this was a call that you always take, but frankly do not want to get. she is the counselor to the secretary. she is chief of staff to hillary clinton. is it common knowledge of anyone in the state department, when the chief of staff of the secretary calls, is the perception is that she is speaking on behalf of the secretary herself? >> not necessarily. >> but it is pretty darn important based on response earlier? >> absolutely. >> i want to go back to the congressman's visit there. your instructor there was going
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to be an attorney accompanying mr. chief its -- the congressman who was supposed to be next to you at all times. secretary said no one from the senate, no one is more committed to getting this right. if we intend it to get it right and get to the truth than why this concerted effort to shield the interaction of congressmen from you? shouldn't you be able to have a dialogue without a babysitter from the state department, somewhere near their monitoring -- always there monitoring about what happened on their visit? >> i should be able to have a discussion with the congressman if he so wants. >> in my first round, this was the first and only time this had happened for someone from the state department company a congressional visit and you were instructed specifically by the state department, "do not
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talk to congressman chaffetz or anyone from the delegation without this lawyer being present." >> correct. >> out of the one time you did have time to interact with mr. chaffetz when the lawyer was not present, you got a phone call? >> correct. >> in the phone call, what did she say? >> she asked for a report on the visit, which i provided. the town of the report, the tone of her voice -- the tone of the report was unhappy, as i recall it, but i faithfully reported exactly how the visit transpired. i described the contents of the briefing -- >> can i introduce you -- can i interrupt you? >> i recall a phone call afterwards. i was pulled out of the briefing, but i do not recall that that was a time when i spoke to the counselor. i actually can remember. >> in close proximity to the
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time you had a briefing, the onetime your apart from the state department minder coming received from col? >> yes. -- you received a phone call? i want to stress that this is the equivalent of trauma manual when he is chief of staff. when he calls, you take that call. you understand it's important and you understand he represents the white house. when cheryl mills calls, you and everyone in the state understands this is right next to secretary clinton. the fact that we had, for the first time in mr. hicks's 22 years of serving his country
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someone accompanying a congressman on a visit after we lost four american lives and the individual has to be in every single meeting, no personal interaction discussing what's going on, it's completely unprecedented. >> will the gentleman yield? i would be happy to yield. >> you and i have known each other to the middle east for a number of years. in all my years of traveling in the middle east come anytime i was head of a congressional delegation, i had a one-on-one with the ambassador, often in an automobile going to see the head of state or somewhere else. over the years when you watched a great ambassadors, have you ever failed to see the head of a delegation coming to get a
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one-on-one? ceremonyt part of the of that relationship and how you treat the head of a congressional delegation? not just an exception, but isn't it always a one-on-one meeting at some point during a leadership meeting? >> in every detail i have been involved in, it has been standard. >> a political appointee of the secretary of state, her right hand person, was telling you to breached protocol. >> the two lawyers did. the conversation with her happened after. >> it was in fact people sent by the state department to breached protocol and not provide anything, even if requested by close personal emissary, mr. chaffetz, not to talk to him privately even if he asked? >> that's right. >> we now go to the ranking member, mr. cummings. >> i was just listening to your testimony. during an interview with the committee, you were asked point blank, closer to the time that
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this happened, whether anyone in the department instructed you to withhold and permission from mr. chaffetz. it asked, "did you receive any direction that mr. chaffetz should not be given them permission from washington? -- from washington?' and you said you did not. this is a worse one testimony. abbas looking at the testimony. -- this is your swan testimony and i and just looking at it. >> i recall that i was instructed not to allow personal interviews. >> are not trying to twist you up. >> i understand, but i recall also stating that i was not to allow personal interviews between congressman chaffetz,
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the rso, acting dsm, or me. >> riddle to make sure the state department officials are present. -- you were told to make sure they were present. >> correct. >> they told me not to be isolated with congressman chaffetz. is that correct? they did not tell you not to say anything, but do not be isolated. >> they said not to have a personal interview with him. >> by yourself. i'm just trying to be clear, that's all. >> i understand. >> mr. hicks, you said four military personnel were told not to board the plane. you do not know where the call came from.
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that's what you said a few minutes ago. so you did not know if it came from special operations command in africa? >> i knew it came from special operations command africa. i did not know who. >> i gotcha. i just wanted to clear that up. the accountability review board, led by thomas pickering, investigating the attacks in benghazi, reviewing thousands of pages of documents, they issued a very thorough report in december of 2012 putting forth the results of its review. did you meet with the arbs as part of that investigation? >> i had an interview with them for about to go hours. it is my understanding that a cable went out to every employee at the state department informing them how to contact them if they wanted to bring information forward. did you receive that notice?
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>> i did. >> did you contact them and request to meet with them? >> i did. >> did you end up meeting with him as part of their review? >> i did not. >> did anyone try to stop you? >> no. >> earlier this week, the congressman claimed the report was incomplete because they never interview to secretary clinton, according to ambassador pickering. they met with secretary clinton, and during that time, they had the opportunity to discuss the report with her and answer any questions. they have put out a joint statement. >> i think that clearly says they did not interview her. they just talked about the
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report and could have but didn't ask her. is that right? >> i am just trying to get the facts. that is even more reason why we need to have pickering here. i am glad you agree to do that. i want to finish this question. i imagine pickering and admiral mullen have put out a joint statement that based on the thorough investigation, they assigned responsibility where they thought it lay and that was not on secretary clinton. we had unfettered access to everything, including all the documentation we need it. our more -- our marching orders were to get to the bottom of what happened and that is what we did. again, we will, as you said, we want to get a complete picture and we will hopefully be that complete picture
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very soon so that we can get to we want to, which is the reform so that these kinds of things are prevented from again.ng thank you. >> we now go to the gentleman from utah. >> thank you. rankingsay to the member, who i have the utmost respect for, i totally concur with you. just like the arb,, we should have unfettered access to all the witnesses and all the documents. we should stand up for ourselves and demand that all
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the unclassified documents be released so we can look at them at the same time. >> i agree. i yield back. >> thank you. >> mr. nordstrom, it is clear to me from the october hearing that there were a number of recommendations that you wanted to see done on the ground. at any time during your service, did you ever get to everything wanted? where the wreck -- recommendations, were you able to implement those recommendations? >> very few of them. >> mr. hicks, is it fair to say the people on the ground trying to make the security decision, that they were not able to get the resources, not able to fortify the facility? they did not have the personal requested. is that fair to say? >> yes. it is fair to say. when i saw secretary clinton four and a half months after the attack in benghazi testify before the congress that she didn't make the security decision, you made the decision, you are the regional security officer on the ground,
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you are the chief security are the one that made the security decision. true or false? >> the response i got from the regional director when i raised the issue that we were short of our standards for security was that my "tone" was not helpful. >> true or false? the decisions on the ground in libya were made by you. >> i would have liked to have thought, but apparently no. >> mr. hicks, when you saw that, did you have a reaction to it? what is your personal opinion? >> when i was there, i was very
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frustrated by the situation, at times, even fright b the threats, scenario we were looking at relative to the resources we had to try to mitigate that threat scenario. >> on both sides of the aisle, i find it stunning that four and a half months after the attack secretary clinton still has the gall to say, it wasn't us, it was them. i take full responsibility, but i am not going to hold anybody accountable, but it was them that made the decision. that was not the case. >> mr. nordstrom, you testified there were 200 security instances prior to the attack. >> correct. >> you repeatedly asked for additional security personnel and it was tonight. >> correct. >> it was reduced. >> correct. >> four and a half months after it happened, the secretary of
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state says, you were responsible for the security situation in libya. that is what we have. that is exactly what we have. you repeatedly asked. they said, we can't do it. we will take some of them away. they made that decision in washington. the hearing ended in not sober. the only caring we had before the election. the hearing ended with you referring to the folks in washington, your superiors, who would not give you what you needed. thereferred to them as telethon. . is that correct? >> yes. -- the taliban. is that correct? >> yes. i have had a lot of questions about that metaphor. i yield back. >> mr. chairman, one of the things i see in the accountability review board,
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page 37, i just fine -- first of all, i want to emphasize, the staff showed absolute dedication and teamwork in mobilizing to respond to the crisis. it goes on their naming you specifically for your work. i can see it in your eyes and the others. god bless you for the work you did. the i have a problem with. it says, the third sentence, the board found no evidence of undue delays or decision-making or denial of support from washington or the military combatant commanders. that is not true. the next sentence is the most troubling. the safe evacuation of all u.s. government personnel from benghazi. 12 hours after the initial attack. that is not true. there are four people that were not safely evacuated. and at the very beginning, it says, " those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." we cannot allow the arb to say that everyone was safely evacuated, because they weren't. there was a lot of heroism. >> we now go to the gentlelday from new york. >> thank you and i agree
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completely that there should be equal exchange of information, that we should have access to all information. the democratic minority was denied access to a witness. the only way we knew anything about what mr. thompson was going to say was what we read in the press. there should be equal access to witnesses and there should be equal access to information. >> with a gentlelday yield? >> on your time. >> hold the clock. you made an allegation i don't understand. we didn't have a transcribed interview with two out of the three witnesses. mr. thompson was not available.
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mr. nordstrom was a previous witness and we felt it was sufficient information about what he felt. mr. hicks, i think he went through five hours on a bipartisan basis. we forwarded their statements. we participated not at all in preparation. we ordered them to the minority as we got them. i am a little bit concerned only in that there is nothing fair about partisan politics, but i believe we fully complied deliberately with the spirit of the rules all along. i would hope the gentlelday would appreciate that. -- gentlelday -- gentlelady would appreciate that. your staff met with mr. thompson. our staff was not allowed. >> this is not true. >> you didn't meet with him? we have had some meetings. we have not prohibited in any way. not our witness.
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>> you are stopping the clock. we need to clear this up. i don't think there's anything to clear up. >> we want to protect whistleblowers. that is very important to us. we have not gotten a syllable -- you have had conversations with mr. thompson. we never had a conversation with ms. thompson. you know that is not fair. all i am saying to you is that we have a witness that came in today. you had an opportunity to interview. >> we never had that opportunity. >> one quick question. i am asking the witnesses, mr. thompson, is it your decision, did any of my people ever tell you to not talk to the minority? >> i am not accusing you of that. bikes have we ever suggested you not talk to the minority or their people? >> gnome.
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-- >> no. >> no. >> the gentle lady may continue. >> we did request to meet with mr. thompson and through lawyers, he said no. he did speak to the republican staff. i would like to go back to the other questioning about cheryl mills'phone call. in reading transcripts, you told our investigators you did not seem -- she did not seem happy when she heard that no other official was in the classified briefing. is that true? >> she was unhappy that the lawyer that came with the congressman was not included in that meeting. >> was she unhappy that no other state official was included? >> that state department
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official. >> you also said she never criticized you and according to your interview transcript, you said she never gave you any direct criticism. do you stand by that today? >> the statement was clearly no direct criticism, but the tone of the conversation, and this is part of the department of state culture, the fact that she called me and the tone of her voice, and we are trained to gauge tone and nuance and language, indicated to me very strongly she was unhappy. >> my time is limited. going to a diplomatic post in benghazi, as i understand it, the british ambassador's convoy was attacked. a gentleman was killed. they decided to pull out of benghazi. is that correct? >> i don't believe anyone was killed. i believe we saved the life of one of those people. i would refer to eric -- they question is, did british ambassador close the post in benghazi and leave? >> he did. >> he did.
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>> claiming my time, i would yield of some and he wants me to yield, but i wanted to ask, when we continued to stay there, do you think that was a wise decision for us to continue to stay in benghazi after the english had closed their post and lefty echo >> absolutely. >> why was it important for us to stay in benghazi? >> we needed to stay there as age symbolic gesture to a people that we saved during the revolution. gaddafi's forces were on the doorstep of benghazi right before the nato bombing commenced. as a gesture, as i said, chris went there as a gesture to support the dream of the people of benghazi to have a democracy. >> he shared your position that staying there was incredibly -- >> he also understood from the secretary herself that benghazi was important to us and we needed to make it to be a permanent constituent post.
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>> i agree with my good friend on the other side of the aisle that it was a long time before the fbi got on the ground. as i understand it from a report they gave us, they got them right away. september 16, the government granted them so the team could travel to libya. the flight clearance was granted in the fbi arrived in tripoli on september 18. there was the security situation on the ground. >> the libyan government did want any of our personnel to go to benghazi because of the security situation there. the libyan government felt it was secure enough for them to go there. is that a fair statement? >> we strung together a series of approvals. it went with the fbi and special forces troops. >> thank you. we now go to the gentlelday's friend.
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>> i am trying to reconcile how benghazi was not safe enough for the federal bureau of investigation to go, but it was safe enough to leave a facility for our diplomats to stay in. it is too dangerous for the bureau. it is just fine for diplomats. the best evidence rule, the best evidence of what you said, this is what you said. here it is. those instructions were to arrange the visit in such a way that represented the staff would not have the opportunity to interview myself and david mcfarland alone. that is what you said. in the deposition. there shouldn't be ambiguity about who said what when. that is your testimony. i would like to try to weave this tapestry together. this is the last opportunity i have today to talk to you. i understand your testimony and i want to be clear about it.
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if i mischaracterize anything, correct me. if i understand your testimony, in part, the investor was interested in going to benghazi because of the interests secretary clinton had. is that fair? >> that is fair. >> mr. nordstrom, same thing to you. i thought i understood your testimony to be that secretary clinton alone was able to approve facilities that were below specs. >> that is correct, some of the specs. there are two static or he said -- two categories. in this case, both applied because we did not >> we are able to show that he went to benghazi because thing god is a but still open because it was below specs because of secretary clinton and now to my third point, to complete -- that he went to benghazi because bank ozzie -- bank ozzie be -- benghazi was open. i have heard all afternoon about denying access to documents and hey do not want to deny the
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public or the media access. i know they will call on the state department to release this e-mail, which the should -- which cheryl mills was copied on, which undercuts susan rice's talking points. cheryl mills was copied on that e-mail. >> if i could add, cheryl mills is the person that led our preparation for our october testimony. butd never met her before, that was explained to me afterward. >> apparently, she was also in a visit to libya, if i that correctly.
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i find it's dubbed -- stunning. he is one of the more decent human beings i have ever met. let me say this in conclusion. you have made a compelling case today it is important to tell other countries the truth. you made a compelling case, the decision not to tell the truth
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on sunday morning talk shows, adversely impacted our ability to get to benghazi. you made a compelling case. all three of you have made a compelling case today on why it is important for government to tell the truth to its own citizens. you made the case that we have to tell the truth to other countries and you made the case on why you have to tell the truth to your own simmons -- citizens. if anyone wants to know what difference it makes, anyone
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wants to ask what difference does it make, it always matters, whether or not you can your government. to the families, we will find out what happened in benghazi and i don't give a damn whose career is impacted. >> we will be winding down. i want to ask each of you, you are whistleblowers. you are the kind of people that give us information we wouldn't otherwise have. do you believe what you are doing today is what we need to keep doing? do we need other whistleblowers to come forward, other witnesses who know what we don't
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cutlyi am not asking you if this a great process or if you enjoyed it, but was it worth while in your opinion as people who have gone through this process? >> yes, mr. chairman. >> mr. hicks? >> yes, i do. >> mr. nordstrom? >> absolutely. feelhope you continue to that way. >> i want to follow up on a
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conversation we had earlier. the cable of march 28, 2012. you drafted that requesting additional personnel for the embassy and tripoli because you were very much short and time was expiring. you knew you were not going to have enough people. your intention and assumption was the executive leadership would see that cable or at least be briefed on that cable and the request after that security. there has been a lot of discussion about the official response that came back on april 19. who do you think reflected the opinion when that cable came back to you? when it came back to you, who was the assumption responding to you? >> normally someone would tell me who it is or they would indicate who the point of contact was. that is still unknown to me. i assume it was coming from ds. as a testified before, so many decisions seem to be at ambassador kennedy's level or higher. that was cleared by officials here it >> you are assuming this is the inter-secretary or up, someone who had personal knowledge of that cable that came back. it is an established fact that there is clear video of the attackers. dfv i has done an extensive investigation. we are -- were any of you aware
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of anyone who has been held to account for the murders that happened in libya? anyone detained, arrested, captured? are you aware of anything that has happened to hold them to account? >> neither the perpetrators nor the persons that made decisions. the four people named in the arb are on administrative leave. one of them is trying to come back and go to nato, which is shocking to me. >> no one is aware of anyone who has been held to account in any way for the murder of four americans? >> not that i'm aware of. >> in 1998, we discussed frequently, there was a bombing in tanzania. there was the arb at the end of that as well. let me read you the three findings at the end of that arb done in 1999. the state department of washington did not assess the
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threats or take notes of the clear signs escalating threats. the facility was inadequate for the most modest of attacks. there was a lack of preparation and warning systems at the facility. that could have have been written a month ago. we have discussed this. the one thing we have to do is learn the lesson. in 1998, this same thing occurred, and we have not learned the lesson. what we know of today, and the realities that have come out, and through all you contributed to the conversation, and it is invaluable, is that we did not do the most basic minimum security that was required by the state department sanders set after the bombing in nairobi, kenya, and in 10 zinnia -- tanzania. there were cameras that were in the box in benghazi because a technical person had never been sent to install those. there could have been additional warning signs but they had not been installed. we know the tripoli facility was even at a greater risk of van benghazi -- than banghazi. physical security, staffing. door kickers in such. the people could provide security. the minimum level was not provided. my understanding is it reached such a point of vulnerability that you approached and asked
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for the diplomats to be trained in how to handle a gun because there was such a fear of the people on the ground because were so exposed. is that true? >> true. >> he have got to learn the lessons of the past. this happened in 1998. we allowed it to happen again. the state department has to put into practice their own standard and put into place the things know to be right. we cannot allow a place listed as critical at high risk to our personnel to be ignored. if there is any one thing that we can do and anyone way to be able to honor those that have fallen, it is that we do learn the lesson and we protect our diplomats with what is required.
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with that, i y back. >> we now go to the gentleman from florida. mr. hicks, did you have something to say? >> i wanted to make a point of clarification about the conversation with the ranking member. there is no inherent contradiction between denying or avoiding a private interview with someone and making sure he has information available. i want to be clear on that. >> i don't think i've ever met -- i don't think i've ever read so much testimony, but what you provided last night was particularly informative. seven, you talk about forrating level assigned threat categories for various posts and there are four of them -- critical, high, medium and low. where we hadosts security concerns, overseas time ofic posts at the
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benghazi. there were 14 rated as high or critical. not a huge number, but 42 of them -- two of those were benghazi and tripoli. are you aware of that? it's not like they had this incredible array of folks who are on high alert. >> a very low amount or high or critical. read the not classified, i read the unclassified version. it was pointed out later in the report that they tried to put of then the lower level plateau and everyone below gets the blame. --s is from the report embassy tripoli did not demonstrate with washington for
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increased security for special mission benghazi. yet we heard your predecessor pleaded for additional help and and did not get it. you actually got a reduction. >> a drastic reduction. >> so this was all over the place. you put in here to ignore the role with senior department leadership before the september 11 attack sends a clear message to all state department employees. it looks like they are whitewashing the folks at the higher pay grade 10 level then you are taking the blame. is that a fair assessment? requestinge resources and preparing testimony before the committee
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standing by an armed mob, you >> i still own. can't believe you were never interviewed and had one of the most strategic positions. that is true? >> i will let you use strategic. it is a tool that should remain on the menu. it was earlier taken off the menu. >> it is a sad commentary. i think what we have heard here today is that clearly in the future, the chief of admissions need to put everything in a cable. in the future, when you know there is a security problem and you are being told your application would not be
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helpful or wanted or people say be patient or don't put it in a cable, the next one will probably whitewash, the same as this one. on october 10, the ranking member and i had a hearing on which it was made clear that message after message after message, including the actual open source information about the attacks that occurred on other diplomatic missions and saying, if that is not loudly that they blew a hole in the wall, what are you going to give us the security we need, then i'm afraid the deafness at secretary kennedy's level is not curable by technology known to amplified sound. with that, this hearing is closed, but this investigation is not over. >> this morning on "meet the
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darrell issa announce he's inviting thomas pickering to testify behind closed doors. admiral mike mullen was a cochair on the review that they did on the consulate in benghazi. here is a look at those remarks. >> we are inviting him on monday along with admiral mullen to come and go through with his papers a private deposition so we can get the fact in a nonpartisan way. >> you are willing to appear? >> of course. i said the day before the hearings that i was willing to appear, to come to the very hearings he excluded me from. >> i excluded you? bikes we were told the majority said i was not welcome at that
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hearing and i could, some other time. ,> the day before the hearing if the white house said we would like to have him, there is a procedure. he could have been the democratic witness and we would have allowed him. the fact is we don't want to have some stored of stage show. we had witnesses who testified, we have the ambassador and admiral mullen who conducted an oversaw the arb. we will go through not in front of the public, but in a nonpartisan way, questions and answers and then a hearing to follow at an appropriate time. i'm delighted to have a long serving career diplomat willing to come before us. " macday on "newsmakers thornberry talks about armed , includingsues benghazi, guantanamo bay, and
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the defense department report on sexual assault. that's today at 6:00 eastern on c-span. tomorrow on c-span, guantanamo bay. president obama has renewed his call to close the prison as hunger strikes continue their. willeritage foundation host a discussion to talk about the detainees policy. for president obama's pick the number two position in the white house budget office testifies on capitol hill for the homeland security and governmental affairs committee during his confirmation hearing. you can watch live at 3:00 on c- span. >> u.s. ambassador to libya nominee, deborah k jones, testified on tuesday on capitol
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hill. she is a former u.s. ambassador to kuwait and has been nominated by president obama to replace chris stevens. for ambassador to the democratic republic of chad also testified. this is about one hour. >> we can never forget chris stevens and the others who tragically lost their lives in
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the attack on benghazi last september. the danger that every door -- every diplomat serving a broad faces. the attacks highlighted how those serving can best reach outside the wire and keep our people safe and secure. i'm committed to doing all we can to make sure congress to operate as- effectively and safely as possible around the world. i look forward to hearing from our nominees on our ability to reach outside that wire. that said, we cannot let the events inbest -- benghazi as far as fulfilling the promise of the revolution. there is no doubt that progress has been messy. it clinical processes continuing.
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we have seen the emergence of an active civil society that remains engaged over how to best movie country forward. uniteds no doubt the states enjoys a certain level of population in libya that we saw in the aftermath of ambassador season -- ambassador stephen's death. the critical question is how to harvest the goodwill to help the libyan people shape and aclusive democracy that has healthy relationship with the united states. the most vital and difficult question is one of security, the security situation remains ascarious. a recent car bomb well as kidnappings and assassination attempts on public officials are still operating with impunity are a challenge. has antral government broad challenge and
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reintegrating former fighters remains. drugs and arm trafficking threaten to destabilize the region. these issues affect not only libya but the entire region. how armslready seen flows coming out of libya have added new weapons to existing conflicts. borders are often amorphous. too often, we adhere to our own bureaucratic boundaries in the near east on one hand and sub- saharan africa on the other trade this will allow us to cross the artificial barriers and hopefully stay engaged in a dialogue about libya and chad in a regional context. with challenges. it is among the world's poorest countries. life expectancy is under 50. it is ranked fourth in the most
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recent failsafe index but has also good with their french to restore security in molly. i hope that is the case. it is emerging as a .ncreasingly significant region with that background, i welcome our nominees, deborah k jones, nominated to be ambassador to libya and who will be introduced by our hood friend, senator udall and ambassador james knight, who comes to us from serving in baghdad. in africa inosts his over two decades. let me turn to senator corker for his opening statement. >> i welcome our nominees and
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their families. i thank you for having this hearing and a full committee. typically we have these in subcommittees, but the roles you will be playing are very important and therefore it is taking place in the full committee. i just traveled not three months ago through northern africa to see what is happening with the nodes of al qaeda that has entered often the effect it's going to have on north africa and the role it will play as it relates to stability. it certainly speaks of the importance of your two roles. country thatave a is helping and working outside of its boundaries to help us with some of these issues. but it is very weak internally and has problem's in the country and with libya, we have a situation as we talked about a country that
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almost doesn't have a government and you can feel it when it on -- when you are on the ground and militia controls many regions and that could have a negative effect on the country. role to playcial in that country. i support the mission of both of you and i look forward to your testimony and i look forward to hopefully strong and outstanding service in the region that is important to our country. >> senator udall? >> thank you mr. chairman and senator corker and members of the committee. i very much appreciate the opportunity to introduce deborah jones. ambassador jones has served with great the stink and over a long career in the u.s. state department. she is a fellow new mexican and we are proud of her accomplishments.
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newfamily has lived in both mexico and arizona since her grandparents moved from mexico. sinces lived in santa fe 1991. new mexico is proud to add her to the long list of distinguished ambassadors who have called new mexico home. ambassador jones has dedicated her life to public service and has tried to instill those same values and her children. >> how did she do? willbassador jones introduce the rest of her family, but i thought i should give special recognition there. deborah jones began a career as vice consul at the u.s. embassy , argentina.res
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while her career began in south america, she began to develop e's no stranger to tougheast. assignment and served as the counselor section chief in deskcus and was the officer in jordan from 1995 to 1997. she was the director of the office of the arabian peninsula affairs and the a ran bureau of near eastern affairs trade she served with distinction as chief of mission at the u.s. embassy in kuwait. she speak arabic, spanish and andch and has an ms national security strategy from the national war college and a ta in history from random young university. she has worked as a senior advisor for international affairs at the u.s. naval war college and a scholar in
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residence at the middle east institute. they will tryo tackle the numerous challenges facing libya. the libyan government has been under strain to rein in the militias. they have attempted to use coercion to exact legislative changes such as the recently passed clinical isolation law. a terrorist threat still exists today in libya, threat that has resulted in attacks on civilians government officials, including benghazi. ambassador jones will be our first ambassador there since the tragedy in benghazi. israel porton to remember the work of chris stephens and all of our diplomatic arsenal who the while in service to
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united states. ambassador stevens and his staff leave strongly the value of freedom and braced by libyans and the american people would prevail. ,mbassador jones, if confirmed would be taking on the important tasks of representing the united states in libya. she will be continuing the important double matted work begun by ambassador stevens. i have every confidence that she is up to the task to move us and north libya africa, which has emerged of of -- emerged as a region great importance to our country. i am grateful for the time she has been discussing these vital issues. a peaceful and democratic libya is important for the interest of the united states. gaddafisecret the machine created lasting damage in libya or that the militant groups that have attempted to take advantage of a government
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and country still in transition. ambassador jones will lead to work with the libyan government to enhance security in the will law. the rule of she will have the important work of balancing access with securities to our embassies and consulates. i know she will do that well. she has a keen understanding of the duties being given to her by the present -- by the president. thank you for the opportunity to let me introduce you to present 2 -- two ambassador jones. the president has chosen and i look forward to supporting as well qualified candidate area i will excuse myself here, but i'm sure she will do very well without me.
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>> we are happy to invite ambassador jones to give her testimony. your full statement will be included in the record. without objection. we would ask you to summarize it for the purpose of being able if you a discussion area would like to introduce any of your family members, we and weze service abroad appreciate your willingness to engage in that. thank you. i am grateful for the opportunity to appear for you here today and a special thank you to tom udall for introducing me to this venerable committee. i am grateful to the president and secretary for their confidence and trust for nominating me to serve in libya.
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my daughters are here with me today. they have always been good troopers and great works as they accompany their parents overseas. are a honest thus along the way i am so proud of them. they are rate patriots. after the fall of colonel gadhafi and his brutal dictatorship, and has been replaced by a sober recognition of the depth and challenges facing libya and its people. as we have witnessed through the region, democratic transitions are terribly difficult and not linear. oftenw from our own turbulent past, nations are billed on compromise and
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reconciliation. .ibya enjoys several advantages including a relatively small population and significant oil wealth. however, we should never underestimate the effect colonel gadhafi's rule had on the country. he deliberately dismantled the countries institution, and squashed any independent thought or initiative. he relied on a network of corruption that effectively created a vacuum from which libya cost rave new leaders must build democratic institutions and consolidate control over militias. some hijacked over purposes having nothing to do with the well-being of the libyan people while dispensing with the country's wealth fairly and transparently. despite these difficult national council which were remarkably successful and delegated -- elevated technocrats over ideologues.
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-- they have achieved some notable successes, a reconstituted government that pays, the july election for the production which has reached pre-conflict levels, relying on the libyan nationals. saw this on display when thousands of libyans celebrated the anniversary of their revolution on february 17 of this year. having said that, serious challenges remain, first and foremost, the need for the government tas -- a sovereign monopoly across its loose and the poorest borders. the disarming, demobilizing and integration of the revolutionary brigades and militias whose efforts were so critical to the defeat of gadhafi's dictatorship is now essential for
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establishing a cohesive security apparatus with clear lines of command and control which will enable the defeat of rogue militias and to vent a repeat of the tragedy in benghazi. as a president has said, the perpetrators must be brought to justice and i will work to see justices realized. libya must consolidate its fledgling democratic foundations. lasting stability will emerge from an inclusive process that delineates clear lines of authority and a reformed judicial system capable of garnering public confidence and administering a comprehensive national transmission strategy to deal with past gadhafi bureau of uses and current criminality. the strategic patience that accompanies institution building must also fill a security vacuum
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that would otherwise be exploited by invasive elements like al qaeda affiliates whose efforts to establish a safe haven must be denied. national guard and requires careful tending during this fragile time. packages forced libya during this time and it is fair for the american people to ask why. at a time of our own physical 's own and given libya wealth. leaders have asserted their willingness and they are tapping their assets of the previous regime. as the government increases capacity and gains experience, the need for u.s. and other
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external funding will drop away. implement and programs now gives us the best opportunity to support and strengthen the government that is fragile but will be a long-term partner of the united states. these are programs aimed at weapons proliferation, providing governmental issues such as border security, rule of law, human rights and promoting a vibrant civil society. this seed money will pay substantial dividend. it is in our national interest as well as libya's to see it fulfill its potential as a stable and prosperous democracy with an active civil society and the full integration of all elements of libyan society and the geographic areas with respect for human rights and international norms. rivalries between culture and
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governance can produce a healthy competitive yet conjoined national -- the development of the full national capacity and sovereignty will enhance our security and economic well-being through cooperation, the steady production of hydrocarbons and increased opportunities for u.s. businesses to partner in libya's renewal and development. a successful transition in libya, challenges are significant, can be an engine for growth. there does remain goodwill for the united states and libya given support and the toppling of gadhafi. i have been very moved and touched by the e-mails i received from libyan citizens following the announcement of my nomination expressing their deep
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sorrow over the heinous attack on a ambassador stevens. i am well aware of the unique challenges i will face in the current environments. if confirmed, i am committed to working closely with the congress in carrying on the excellence worth -- work and forging strong ties between our governments and people, students and business communities and women and minorities leveraging power and all connections and tools at my disposal in coronation with our allies and like-minded powers who share our interest in seeing a stable and prosperous libya. our engagement with libya originates long before the revolution and includes a store cooperation during world war ii and the cold war as well as our cooperative efforts in developing oil and gas sectors since 1959.
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last but not least, i am conscious of the responsibility i would have for the safety and security of the approximately 4000 americans residing in libya. as we strive to balance safety considerations with a deep desire to engage and the work of the american people as expressed by members of this congress, i would like to rest my deep gratitude to my colleagues and in the planet security -- diplomatic security whose heroic efforts make it possible for us to continue our daily work there. honorable members of this committee, it is in my privilege and a great honor to have spent 31 years in the service of my country working with nine administrations to champion americans interest and values and expand the reach of freedom with nations at war and peace,
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most in some sort of political transition, some in poverty and others enjoying great wealth. it would be my honor and sworn duty to lead our mission in libya as we meet the challenge of establishing a strong libya allied with the united states. thank you and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you. >> thank you, senator. mr. chairman, ranking member corker, i am deeply honored to appear today as the nominee to be the next ambassador of united states of america to the republic of chad. i think president obama and secretary kerry for the confidence and trust they have shown by nominating me for this position. i will work with you all to best represent interests and values of the american people and a moment when chad is becoming a
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stronger partner for the united states and allies in the critical region. i am pleased that my wife has joined me today. she has been my closest partner and the strongest supporter throughout my foreign service career. chad is a vast country. position would've the most important important crossroads of africa. the peoples and cultures have shared the diverse environments. these traditions are a unique culture but one that is faced great turbulence. it has been plagued by civil war and suffered struggles with the sudan and other neighboring countries. today, chad is emerging its legacy of internal turmoil and a regional conflict. shadow plays a positive role in
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the region determining to mediation and peacekeeping efforts. chad has been a key partner in the international community efforts, dissipating and sustaining heavy casualties in the international community. chad intends to maintain troops there is a member of the united nations peacekeeping operation. the leadership in the economic community of essential african states, the community of the sahara and central african force commission advances the hope we share for the future of a more prosperous and central africa. ongoing instability and conflict in bordering countries such as we are now seeing threatens the progress chad has recently enjoyed. the president has led negotiations to bring a transparent government.
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chad has conservative trips to the peacekeeping mission. chad currently hosts refugees from sudan and the central african republic and new arrivals continue to cross the border due to ongoing conflict. the government of chad maintains a corporative relationship with the humanitarian community. chad is also subject to the growing regional threat of wildlife trafficking by armed poachers across central african borders to attack a threatened elephant population. it impacts the livelihood of local communities as well as security and the rule of law. in addition to regional threats, chad faces great domestic challenges. international investment in chad is severely constrained by isolation, limited infrastructure, lack of skilled
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workers, widespread corruption. the government of chad must improve its management of petroleum resources. the oil reserves are in decline and the urgency to overcome its persistent under development. the people of chad suffer from great poverty, illiteracy, disease. mr. chairman, honorable members of the committee, as you know, i have worked to address these kinds of issues for many years. in iraq, i have had responsibility for reform. i oversaw the completion of the challenge compact which
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addressed challenges similar to those confronting chad today. in angola i helped improve revenue. before entering the foreign service, i worked as a development racialist in this area. if confirmed, i look forward to addressing the goals of the united states. if confirmed, i will support the government of chad's efforts to counter growing threats to regional security and to maintain and widen regional engagements. i will encourage the pursuit of democratic reform, its capacity and will for better governance. i will support and assist the government of chad to assure sound use of humanitarian assistance and improved capacity.
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if confirmed, my highest priority will be to ensure the safety and welfare of all americans in chad and the advancement of u.s. interest. please accept my thanks for this opportunity to appear before you today. i look forward to your questions. >> thank you for your testimony. let me begin with ambassador jones. it seems that today the defense minister of libya announced his resignation this morning. the situation in libya appears to have hit a challenging point. over the weekend, gunmen intimidated the parliament into passing a political isolation law to ban anyone who served in qaddafi's government, including many professional technocrats in libya that needed to succeed in the future. it is a dangerous precedent.
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what did the events portend for libya's future and how do we secure a democracy if it is being held by outside parliaments? >> senator, you are reading my mind this morning. it is a challenge, but i believe again, if confirmed, one of the reasons i believe we need to get an investor out there -- ambassador out there is to support the government that will help it to enhance control. the libyan people deserve far better than this. they struggled bravely to throw off 40 years of intimidation, i don't believe in exchange for another government of
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intimidation or commissioned by armed groups or malicious. working on the three that you -- groups or malicious -- militias. supporting its government and training of professional military and security regime which we have started to do in many ways, disarming them. also, engaging with them on governance and getting them to work with them to look at the impact of these kinds of laws, this isolation law and the impact it would have on their unity and future of the government and civil society which is a critical part of libya. the role that civil society has played, the role of women has been significant. the people themselves are going to have to make their voices heard and we will help them with that in ensuring we don't go back to a situation of intimidation. it is one of the reasons i feel an urgency to get on the ground to have an ambassador there to
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guide our efforts of the side of the ocean as well as guiding and helping libya to achieve objectives they want to strengthen the security and to disarm the militias. >> how do you intend in the security environment you will be in to reach out to civil society inside of libya as part of fostering a greater, more participation by it society? >> that is a good question. you know, and ambassador doesn't wake up without considering security. that just goes part and parcel with the job. when i was the ambassador in kuwait, even though it was a completely different situation, i did not wake up one morning
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without thinking what possibly could happen to us that day. that was a place where i canceled the marina ball the day of the ball. you have to know that means because the invasion of iraq, the liberation of kuwait was the largest marine deployment since world war ii. a combination of factors with intelligence led me to cancel the ball and to wake up and rows rouse the head of the security and ask them to swap out all of his guards. i think it's very serio, security. that said, i see -- think there are a number of ways we can connect. we have a package. the situation is changing all the time. it is very unstable. we all know that. it is something we look at everyday. we are working close at it. we have a a package for travel that allows us to get out. there are also other ways of connecting with people, whether it is through media, skype,
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through all kinds of connections within libya to have us be able to talk even while we might not be physically present the way we might like in other environments. until i get out on the ground and see what that is -- first thing i do with every mission is to do a terrain that walked with my security officer. i did in kuwait, in instable -- assemble. -- istanbul. i will talk about meeting people in other locations. we can't take advantage of trips outside of libya and take advantage of other locations inside. i have to be creative and we will look at that as we go. >> to both of you, chad and libya share a porous border. what do you see as some of the challenges and how could you work together to improve the
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u.s. ability to respond and help shape development in the region? >> thank you, mr. chairman. it is clear us being here together speaks to the importance of a shared approach to regional threats in the area, in which we will both be working if confirmed. the importance of this coordination is key because as you know, there has been a historic division in the state department in the north part of africa. i think that is a good first step in the structure. it is clear we have to maintain personal communication and personal coordination of our efforts to address the threats as they emerge along our shared border. it is also important to recognize that it is not simply
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along the border but there is a regional dimension to this which extends from senegal all the way to the other side of sudan. if confirmed, i look forward to working with all of my colleagues in this effort to address the continually worrisome threats of terrorism in this area. >> senator, also i would second everything jim has said. i would say that the problem has gone beyond the border. we know the flow of weapons from libya rejects far as syria in a very challenging security environments. we recognize working with these countries is not a bilateral issue but a global issue. i intend to not only draw on my colleagues around all of our resources but also other countries who have assets and interests who are like-minded, who can support our efforts to disarm, which we have been
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working on with the libyans to dismantle man pads and to destroy chemical weapons and things that have been left over from cut off his collection of weapons over the years and also results of their own the civil war. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman and thank you for your testimony and for the families for being here. i guess i would ask the first question, what have you done to cause people to send you to libya? [laughter] i know we talked to love it about that yesterday in the office. my serious question as we talked a little bit about safety and we traveled through there in october after the unfortunate events in benghazi. you stated the importance of
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security. if you would emphasize that, i would appreciate it area -- it. >> absolutely. let me say i think our daughters are asking what they did to us to have their dad -- i think they are wondering they did to cause that. it was to pay for their college. [laughter] what i would say, on security -- again, this is something that is deadly serious for us, how do we manage security in the building. over the course of my career, my first assignment, no one mentions, it happened to be during the falkans war. it changed the nature of diplomatic practice and may
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people worry if we were not safe anymore under the vienna convention, how were we going to make this work. throughout my career and in the later years as ambassador have always had a direct connection and picked up the phone with washington and worked closely with agencies at post who have access to intelligence. it is the role of the ambassador. the ambassador is the personal security officer at post and it is the ambassador who has to decide to allow people to travel here or to ask for additional assets or to insist on additional assets. if you don't of the answers you need, you pick up the phone and speak to people who are responsible for that. that is what i intend to do. that is what i have always done. there are many ways to approach that and to continue to press
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that. we do know in the past -- >> that's good. thank you. we were involved in libya and certainly have a result ability there because of that involvement. it would appear to me and i think i would love to hear your comments that we have underestimated the challenge is there. i have met with government officials there and it is really not a government. when you look at the responsibilities that they have, you look at militias throughout the country, it is almost remarkable that the country is functioning. do you think we have underestimated the challenge is there -- challenges there? >> if there is one thing i have learned based on the briefings, i don't know that we underestimated. i think there has been
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frustration. i know we had a setback in these last nine months without having an investor on the ground. it has set us back to support the government there. beyond that, could i say we underestimated? again, progress after these kinds of transitions is unpredictable. it is organic, not linear, not formulaic grid -- formulaic. we most certainly will lose if we will not make the effort. we have never won a battle we have not shown up for. >> i know you want to get on the ground and see how things are and they are changing daily and so your briefings a few weeks ago regarding libya today would be very different, i think. based on what you know today, what is it and typically when an abbasid or in at the beginning
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where you have -- you lately groundwork for what you're going to do, what are your goals the first six months? >> the principal goal is to address the security vacuum, to address the capacity vacuum of the government in terms of security. how you approach that comes from a different -- a number of different arenas and it is not purely training and military training or security training or intelligence, although all those things are hugely important. i think what we also see in the aftermath of benghazi was the importance of civil society as well and the importance of the libyan people themselves making their voices heard and getting involved in supporting and holding to what they have fought so hard to gain, which is the democratic transition. they have more skin in this game than anyone else, and they know that.
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>> what happens in that transition? if we end up with the law that passed on sunday and others that are being pursued, what happens to our relationship if we end up with militia men in these cabinet posts? i might say when we end up with them. >> i am not going to accept that quite yet, but we need to be prepared to engage with anyone who is committed to a democratic transition in the via through peaceful means. >> what if it becomes an islamic state? >> people talk about the muslim brotherhood. we have to look at many layers, whether cutting off support for extremist groups, however that supports, whatever form that support may take. we also need to be engaging with those groups who have issued violence, who are committed to a
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democratic libya. until i get on the ground, unselected do more, i am not prepared to rule it out, rule anything in or out at this stage. i am not saying it is simple. it is not. >> as you are in briefings, how do you think the issue that we are dealing with in libya right now -- we were involved but not overly involved. we ended up being where we are there today, and we have serious, which is developing and has similar characteristics, not all. how do you think our experiences in libya are shaping our responses as it relates to syria? >> i would not be in a position i have not been involved in the policymaking on syria.
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there are challenges out there and all of these are indicative of transitions. people want change. if there is one lesson we have learned, it is that authoritarian and autocratic governments don't develop societies to sustain itself in the aftermath of change and that is where we need to be prepared to step in and support. if anything, it gives that -- i was reading the other day -- there are three books i am recommending to people before i go to libya. i am not getting royalties. the american revolution. the second is the prince, and the third is the federalist paper to look at how the idea of sovereignty emerges from the people and how people in these places need to understand they are not yielding authority, they are creating authority as a
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nation when they allow -- when they votes. that is a manifestation of national will of the people. that is the lesson that the syrians and libyans have to learn. >> thank you. i can stop or keep going. what are you go ahead, then i will go again. thank you for your testimony. what do you see was recently in mali and i know chad has played a role there. where do you see the threat to chad being relative to mali? >> thank you. my sense is that -- i think this is a widely shared view that the government of chad sees the
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regional threats very clearly. it is the opportunities because it is -- since 2010. there is a greater step -- domestic stability and chat because the regional threats have since -- subsided. these were perceived as essential threats to the government of chad and made -- they have done a superb job there. they have been the strongest contingent both in terms of numbers and proactive engagement with the insurgents and terrorists. they worked effectively with the french. this began with their own strongly driven desire to participate in the earliest possible opportunity. >> how fragile do you see the
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government of chad being? >> i don't consider it to be fragile as it lacks the capacity it needs to be if it of. -- effective. the president has been in power since the 1990s. he just recently won a fourth term. the people of chad appeared to be comfortable with the way the government is emerging towards a more democratic and inclusive approach. again, one sees a sense of a greater interest in acquiring the capacity to govern and support and pursuit of human rights and respect for democracy across the board in terms of what it does directly as a government and how society is
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taking a broader role. >> i get the sense there is some question about the interagency court nation that is taking place and chat. do you have any comments regarding that and the lack thereof? >> knows, sir. i have not heard of significant problems that have impeded any u.s. government policies or objectives there. the larger issue that i consider to be the most urgent is the effort to make sure all our efforts across agencies are coordinated, and mutually beneficial in terms of their pursuits. my best guess is that the kinds of issues that you may be referring to our momentary and addressed effectively by the team. >> it is noteworthy that both of you are going to be involved in the country and regionally both of you are going to be important
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in your positions. one last question, and thank you mr. chairman for your courtesy. there is no usaid involvement in chad at this time. you see that as important to change at this time? >> there is a representative who is their full-time as a member of the embassy staff. he has done a well-regarded job in terms of pursuing the ongoing efforts there. there has not been a mission in chad since the 1990's. that decision resides with the usaid and also with the funding that is available. my personal view is that chad offers the optimal opportunity for what a mission can provide.
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it would help shape and empower the government of chad to pursue goals and help support the capacity engagement is necessary to ensure that economic development proceeds as quickly as possible, diversify the capacity to participate in the world economy and improve management of oil resources. >> thank you, mr. chairman. senator mccain. >> thank you, mr. chairman. welcome the witnesses and ambassador night. congratulations on your many years of service. ambassador jones, i thank you for yours as well. we had a good meeting in my office. ambassador jones, a quick glance at the headlines in libya from the past several days a stark reminder that the transition to
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democracy remains rough and incomplete. i know to headlines from this morning, libya defense minister quits over siege by gunmen and despite what is happening, i continue to believe we can't get into the visitation dictation that our support for the democratic aspirations for people in libya and elsewhere is not mistaken. i don't think we can resigned are that -- ourselves to the false belief that the arab spring is doomed to be defined by terrorists. i conceived -- i continue to believe in freedom that has inspired millions of people to action.
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even the worst dictators can be overthrown and swept into history, where they belong. i am deeply concerned by the libyan parliaments vote on sunday to adopt a political isolation law and the ongoing siege of government ministries. the passage of the law exposes the government's inability to deal with armed groups as well as overall weaknesses of a libya's central government. in your assessment, what impact will the political isolation law have on libya's transition and the integrity of prime minister zaden's cabinet? >> i share your views that the libyan people oh yes we owe them the best to succeed in their transition. it looks like the prime may have convinced the minister not to resign.
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let's hope that holds true. again, it is an uncertain situation. i believe that the isolation law is something that i certainly would hope to address is confirmed to get members to rethink the application of that law. how it is defined, how to find many of the conditions. i think we all know from our own experience with legislation and dealing with that as americans that sometimes much lies in how we apply it and execute the law. i am hoping to get out there to be confirmed and have some influence and let them look to the future of the country instead of immediate desire for revenge. i think they know that and i think the majority of libyan people have fought too hard and
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wanting badly to succeed in a government that is not one of intimidation. they have had that for 40 years. they need a government of representation, sir. >> you would agree the libyan people are largely appreciative of the united states assistance in the overthrow qaddafi. there is strong pro-americanism. >> absolutely. prior to your arrival, i mentioned i have received a number of e-mails from olympians once the white house announced my candidacy -- from libyans. offering hope for my relationship to continue strongly. we have lost a lot of time and we need to get going on this. >> that is what i was going to mention next. after gadhafi was overthrown, light footprint was enacted. whether it be helping organize
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the military and i think it is pretty clear in the objective view of most observers that we have done very little. we had 30,000 wounded. i think we've treated three in a boston hospital. there is issue of a sovereign immunity which seems to have hung up our ability to send people there to train their military. part of it is the libyan's fault. one heck of a lot of it is our fault. i have talked to secretary kerry about this problem, and you're going to have to start on sticking things but you have to get the support of the administration, which so far has not been there. if you're going to succeed in libya, ambassador, you're going to have to speak truth to power. it is that we are not giving them the assistance for a whole variety of reasons, not all hours -- ours that will assist them in becoming a function in democracy.
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you will not be able to go to eastern anytime soon because it is no longer -- not just because of what happened in the gaza, but it is no longer in of the government. the situation in many ways as evidenced by yesterday's vote continues to deteriorate and it cries out for american assistance, which is not the case in some other countries -- it will be more than welcome. i wish you luck.
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there are a lot of us who want to see you succeed, but most importantly, the people of libya to be able to realize a opportunity that they a great deal of blood in trying to achieve. you know the list of concerns that we have, you know the areas where we should be and i would hope strenuously advise the state department and the president of the united states as to how we can salvage what is and unfortunately deteriorating situation in libya. >> thank you, senator. i appreciate your support. >> one last thing. when you and i spoke, i just want to make sure for the record. i am continuing interested on behalf of the families of pan am 103 to pursue whomever or
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whatever were involved in that bombing which lost many lives americans, including many from my home state of new jersey. i assume that i have your commitment upon your confirmation to pursue that line with the libyan government. >> absolutely. in my time in one of my previous assignments, i had the honor and thpaful opportunity to speak e ofhe parents who have lost family members, children. i am a parent for it i can't begin to imagine that kind of tragedy.
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i can assure you that i will continue to press the government to support us. in fact, there has been some effort -- i think there has been some progress. progress may be too far to go and the fbi would have more details of that. we continue to press them, and i shall -- i give you my word i will continue to press to bring it to resolution, bring justice to that. >> i have one additional item that i forgot to mention. when it is my turn. >> go ahead, senator mccain. >> there is a small graveyard intricately, as you know, that supposedly -- in tripoli that contain the bodies of the american sailors who were unsuccessful in an attempt at raid in our attempts to bring the pirates under control. familyre remaining members and others who are interested in the and an effort to
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repatriate those bodies. it is not a big item in the grand scheme of things, but i think we probably should do what we can to give those brave americans that perished so long ago a place to rest that is fitting with their sacrifice. >> that is the first i was aware of that. i think small things can be very important leading to bigger things, and i appreciate that. i was telling me senator in reading the history the first time we had a siege in benghazi, it was a crew army from tennessee who came to save the day. we will follow up on that. >> i am sure you remember the marine corps hymn that has to do with tripoli. >> absolutely. >> thank you both for your testimony. i am convinced of one thing, irecamssador -- american assistance without an ambassador. we need an american ambassador at both of these locations, and i believe that it is imperative to have these nominations move forward. it is not in the interest of united states not to have
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an abbasid or at these locations of national interests and the ultimate outcome of libya's future can be helped or we can't allow it to be shaped by a course of events in which the united states is absent. our best way in which we pursue the national interests of the united states is to have an ambassador at both of these posts. therecord will stay open to close of business tomorrow. i urge nominees as was the state department to answer any questions posed by committee members as soon as possible so we can put these nominations on the next business meeting. with that, this meeting is adjourned.
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[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> legislative business resumes tuesday at 2:00 p.m. eastern. among the agenda items, legislation calling for the full repeal of the bill requiring the securities and exchange commission with a cost-benefit analysis before implementing new regulations. the senate is back monday at 2:00 p.m.. .o votes are expected they were authorized dozens of flood protection, sewage, and
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waterway improvement projects. later, a vote on president obama's pick for medicare and medicaid services. live coverage. >> most people did not know that cigarettes are the main way that we are exposed to radioactive isotopes. an average smoker will get the equivalent of hundreds of chest x-rays a year just from their smoking. that is mainly from the pesticides, the fertilizers cut on tobacco. uranium forn polonium. the russian spy in london a few years ago, that is also present in cigarette smoke. that was discovered in the 60's. the most easily preventable
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cause of death in the modern world as the cause is responsible for 440,000 deaths in the united states every year. it is preventable. robert proctor on tobacco's history and the continuing dangers of smoking tonight at 10:00 eastern, part of ooktv this weekend on c-span2. wednesday,on last wi queen elizabeth travel to parliament. here is a brief look at some of the ceremony. have received the signal. a great view. right down to the house of laws. he makes his way of through this short stretch of corridor.
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this is where he was spreading to me earlier on -- describing to me early on of the precise nature of the duty wars and what it symbolized. he takes great pride in his role in the this is a great sovereignty of the commons. his daily work is to look after very important areas of securities in his part of the southwestern area. a little delay. i am told that we may be slightly ahead of schedule. this is very unusual. he makes his way straight down to the house of commons. i suspect because it is a little
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longer than they should have done. blackrock will not appreciate the latest. there we are. he is on his way. he is on his way. confronted to be with closed doors.
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>> mr. speaker, at the queen tomands this honorable house add 10 per master -- majesty immediately in the house. real mail for sale. >> this is a contribution. a sharp political observation.
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lisbon here since 1970. >> tonight we will show you the full state opening of british parliament with the queen's throne speech. this morning, we talked with a cbs news' investigative reporter about last year's attack in benghazi in the house oversight hearing last week. sharyl attkisson. i wanted to begin with the reporting on benghazi from politico. they had five takeaways. number one, hillary clinton is now more than just the subtext. is that one of t story lines? guest: i think so. there have been changing versions of the talking points, but at the heart of primary
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investigations were instigated before the main ones were changed from the press focused when at the time her press spokesman was very aggressive in this e-mail exchange as to where she did and did not like. primarily the references to terrorism and al qaeda came from the talking points. host: the other question is, what did she know about it? as we heard that night, the phone call that she received was five or six days before susan rice was in the program. guest: we have a slowly building body of evidence that suggests that almost all the parties knew from the outset, not only knew but believed that this was likely an islamic extremist terrorist attack here and possibly in cairo.
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something that i learned looking at the talking points this week, it was a question that i had, with the cairo attacks inspired by the videos, no one believes or is saying that the attacks -- if you look at the talking points before there were change, a reference a warning that went out on september 10 that specifically said they had intelligence that islamic extremists were encouraging jihadists break in as well. if we had a heads up on that, major appearance was onspir sunday the 16th. listen carefully to how she parsed the statement as delivered at the air force base. [video clip] >> this has been a difficult week for the state department and our country.
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we have seen the heavy assault on our post in benghazi that took the lives of those brave men. we have seen rage and violence directed at american embassies over an awful internet video that we had nothing to do with. it is hard for the american people to make sense of that, because it is senseless. and it is totally unacceptable. the people of egypt, libya, yemen, and tunisia did not trade the tyranny of a dictator for the tyranny of a mob. responsible leaders in these countries need to do everything that they can to restore security and hold accountable those behind these violent acts. host: sharyl attkisson, two things, separating out the actions in benghazi and then speaking to the youtube video and then the story line coming 24 hours after the attack, because they both happened essentially simultaneously.
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host: i would like to know the youtube video attribution came from because we are getting this evidence that ground that we spoke to, state department officers, diplomats and so on, they never said they thought it was based on ahat a look to solve the puzzle of what happened and what was being said, it looks like someone developed a story line very quickly, perhaps even that night after the attacks occurred, the bulk of the evidence shows that this was preplanned as an act of terrorism, but someone decided to guide the american public's viewpoint toward that video.
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one very specific piece of evidence on that point was when the family members came to the bodies of their loved ones here, to members were told by mrs. clinton, they say, we are going to get the person who made that awful video. i wondered at the time what did not say that there were going to get the people who killed your son. even if a video were in place, for the sake of argument why would to be after the maker of the video more than the people who committed the murders? it seems there was a story line being advanced. host: some sidebar stories, gregory vance, demoted to a desk job. what do you know about him? guest: he is a lifelong government servant, he was quite enamored of hillary clinton for much of time and respected a lot of her until this and changed his dramatically in the
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aftermath of these benghazi he thinks things were misrepresented. as you say, he was marginalized and demoted. he has been quietly dealing with this on his own for many months and it took a lot of courage for him to step forward. it is tough for people who step out of line to cover stories like this. host: this was congressman jim jordan with the hearing that took place this past week. all of it available on our website, c-span.org. [video clip] you were with lawyers prior to the congressman coming to visit in libya. >> yes. >> what did they it instructed to do? >> i was instructed not to allow the rso, acting deputy chief of mission and myself to personally interviewed. host: sharyl attkisson, is this the beginning of a series of hearings? could there be a select committee for democrats? guest: the level of interest and
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so on changes from day to day. the democrats are in a tough position. i think that some of them, well, they said so, there are some disturbing things about this, but politically i think they are in damage control mode, looking for other ways to deflect the blame and the fault going on here, really doing some serious damage to the political party and obama administration. host: our first caller is from falls church, va.. actually, patricia next in minneapolis. good morning. caller: good morning. saysnot believe that it investigative correspondent.
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this story should have been investigated and no one but the press and liberals believed that nonsense about the video. i cannot believe the you are just now talking about it. you avoided the story like the plague because he wanted obama to get reelected. this story can out in september. also -- host: i have to jump in, one of the reasons we have sharyl attkisson on -- but: but i mean -- caller: i mean the station. guest: let me speak to that. cbs was very aggressive. people either did not notice at the time or have forgotten, but we did quite a great deal of coverage in the october timeframe. major news, including with colonel andrew would, the colonel whose team was pulled out, despite requests to stay. we have definitely been on the story. people are now paying more
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attention to it and for some reason cbs is only now picking up on it. host: we have been dealing with this issue as well since the initial reports. thank you for the call. rep. elijah cummings is the ranking democrat and he says whole thing is political. this is what he has to say. we will come back to the representative in just a moment. the next caller comes from connecticut, democratic line, good morning. caller: i was wondering about the hicks testimony. there was some conflicting stuff
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coming from that. when he said that he was demoted and all of that stuff, the people in his office had complaints about him, in the hearing itself he said he did it for family reasons. where was he telling the truth? guest: i think that anyone who thinks that a man can go from the no. 2 position at a dangerous post in libya and suddenly find himself at a desk job that he would have preferred not to have, denying that the timing is purely coincidental, that does not seem credible to me and that is not his view either. when you are on the inside you know what is happening to you. you can judge for yourself if you think that he is somehow indeed tainted. they do want to steer people thought this is an agenda. they cannot argue with some of the fact that do not look good. gainer demanding e- mails, anything related to benghazi. there is a paper trail. there has been a lot of
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discussion of republican on the hill. in doing so with a cohesive approach, picking up some steam last week. host: if you are just tuning in, our guest is sharyl attkisson. her work is also available online at cbsnews.com. you have also commented on the republican national committee advertisement that did not air in 2012. [video clip] have also commented on the republican national committee. take a listen. [video clip] >> something is happening in the world.
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host: any sense of why? interesting that that was put together back in mid-september. the same questions they raise back in are the same watches their posing right now. guest: i do not have any insights and that. you only presume that they did some sort of polling. they decided it would work more against them been for them. host: an action and deception -- having failed for lead to review what happened. they produced a report that was somewhere between radically incomplete and positively
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misleading. the white house speaker referring to this review board. a lot of holes already in that document. guest: it will be on face the nation later today. i'm sure he will be asked questions on that later. i'm not sure that was clear that the public at the time. they had certain 30s. they did not interview some people. they drew some conclusions in their report on the less about what could and could not happen with speaking to the people on the ground whom i know the
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answers. i think there are some questions to be asked. congress does want to call the office back and ask some of the things and see health the road the review was. host: we ought to point out that you will be on "face the nation" later this morning. he could also hear the program on c-span radio at noon eastern time. john is joining us from florida. the morning. caller: good morning. two things -- the cia report seems to indicate that we were warned. i am amazed that more of that is not being brought out here at the second thing is -- preparedness. this is libya. this is a dangerous country. four years, the military scrambled. also, there should be a war -- a contingency plan. the military leaders told her -- tell us they cannot get there.
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how could they not get there? this is libya. this is just like 9/11. after the first plane hit, they knew. the intelligence committee there were other planes up there. i know i am bringing in the columbia thing, but we go into space, we have a hole in the wing, we do not have sensors on the wings, we do not have the capability to do space launches. there is a link here where the government is falling down. i just do not understand why we are not prepared for the things to go in and just save these people. host: ok, john, thank you. guest: i think he hit on two unanswered questions. you hit on two key points. one of them, the warning. it appears as though, especially from the early versions of the talking point, the cia and petraeus had issued warnings and in essence done a part of the job and immediately part of the e-mail exchange -- the state department was worried that that information would be used at public would say, why did
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you not heed the warnings, why did you draw back on security. i would love to hear more from petraeus because an article on friday, there was in a mellow stage with him or he was very discouraged by the talking. he was sent the final version, and he said something like -- where he is being told that they cut out a lot of information that he had approved to be in there, most of it about the cia having done their job. he said something like -- this is not what the hill asked for. and they said they won't even let us tell them about the warnings to cairo. meaning they had linked up the talking points. it is a huge issue still. the administration and arv both say nothing more had been done. everything was tried.
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but i continue to have a constant stream of special forces, others to know that world in that region, and insist that they do have workers ready to move quickly. that is their job. millions of dollars are spent to keep them on alert. they should have and could have been moved. that is at odds with the administration both the account. host: let's go back to the talking points. the road that document, who signed off on it, and when did it get to susan rice? guest: i don't have the answers. we still don't have the constant trail. there is a dark hole during the deputies meeting on september 15, which i think was a saturday morning after the talking points being developed on a friday. the white house has not said -- we can assume obviously top deputy officials and the agency.
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friday,s confusion which was another red flag for me as an investigative reporter. the state department was insisting all day -- i believe he was hillary clinton's former deputy chief of staff. there is a lot of tack about that he was not there. the press officer from state department was saying that is bogus. tellthe white house will you he was not there. later in the day, the white house issued a statement saying jake sullivan was there. i find a very strange. i we will back to the state department, and the spokesman said, my bad, i had not asked jake before i answered the question. so why did the state department go from insisting one of the deputies was not at the meeting, why did the white house than contradict them? there are a lot of unanswered questions. host: jay carney insists that the only changes they made was changing the word "consulate" to "diplomatic post." guest: you have to watch the words they use. they do not hold the pen in
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hand and write the changes themselves. clearly they did take part in these changes. while it is important to know who exactly did what, in general, we now know the basic thing which is the obama administration, whoever it was, drastically changed these talking points, pointed america toward a video when there was no real, tangible,, hard evidence that that was the case, and did not convene the counterterrorism security group the night during the attacks, which is required by presidential directive. they have not explained to the satisfaction of some people involved why they would not call up the counterterrorism experts
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as required so that things could be courted native. host: so why? why not simply come out and say this was an act of terrorism, we will get these individuals? guest: it is hard to say. we were something like eight weeks before the election. they immediately went into manage this issue mode. obviously, they wanted to handle it in the best way they could substantially, but they were also thinking about what this could do as an election issue. so i guess those two things were converging. it is hard to say why they went with one narrative versus another, and would things have been better if they had simply told a fuller part of the story as originally planned. or would that have exploded on president obama before the election?
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host: this is one from one of our viewers saying -- these reports say you are being pressured by cbs bosses to back down on the benghazi story. what can you tell us? guest: no one has pressured me one way or the other. the ones i consider executives have been encouraging in general of the kind of reporting i do. there is a diverse range of views and opinions within cbs news. it is hard to his plan on a given day why something is news versus something else. they have a lot of stories to choose from. that is their prerogative. so there is a lot of discussion about what best serves the public. i have not received any executive pressure to stop benghazi story. host: do you feel you have editorial freedom to do the story you want both on cbs news and the cbs news website? guest: i do. i have a lot of editorial freedom. all reporters, with their own stories, and then you have to basically shop into a broadcast and find a bride that that wants home for them. that is harder at sometimes than it is at others. generally the web is an easy
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sale because they want content and they do not have a lot of time constraints. thes more difficult with other broadcast. host: make sure you read the "washington post" profile of our guest, sharyl attkisson. guest: i think one of the things that working in washington has aggravated me with trying to get to the truth. and this is true across administrations, whether they are democrats or republican, they work for us, not the other way around. i think the public is owed a lot of information collected on our behalf, such as about benghazi.
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keepers of the information as if they somehow own it and will be privileged over you that you cannot see it. for reasonable, information request that i have made to facilitate the release of public information. i get pretty much zero response. that is at the start of the obama administration and he seems to have perfected it. it was true also under george bush. it is very difficult to get public information, even when you apply the freedom of information law. time will tell. i am here today, there tomorrow. i have a home there as long as i wish to have a home there. host: jimmy is joining us next traveling, texas. caller: good morning.
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i was just curious. i have not heard anywhere else, anyone mention the fact that paula broadwell -- and i cannot be the only one who has seen the video -- that there were insurgents being held by intelligence somewhere there down the street, across the street, somewhere close to the ambassador's location. that is what the people were trying to do is recover the people who were being held. if that is the case, if i'm not mistaken, there was an executive order issued by obama that there were no more people held at sites like that. but since that scandal broke, none of that has come to light. guest: i did look into that to the extent that i was able to. two points on that -- i talked to some sources i have their. i don't have the whole story. but the ones i spoke to were not
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aware of anyone being held as described. our two, to your point that the united states is not supposed waso that sort of thing, i also told by sources that sometimes if something like that is done, we could be using maybe you could call it a loophole where we use local forces to actually do the could say that they are not really in the u.s. control. toin, i have not been able find out whether that is true or not, but the people i've spoken to were not aware of anybody being held. host: how my questions you have on that list? guest: 25 questions. host: do you want to go through some of them? guest: when was ambassador stephan's body recovered? what are the known details? a month later we have virtually no information on how he died, what time he was found, where his body was taken, there is
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some confusion over whether a hospital, with the dead or alive at that point. there was a phone call made on his phone to the embassy where somebody in arabic said "he is here." maybe the people at the hospital, which was controlled by what they call the "bad guys" there were trying to learn a rescue attempt, so they decided not to go to the hospital to recover him at that time because they set some sort of trap. i think that is strange. who made the decision not to convene the counterterrorism group the night of the benghazi attack? which is a presidential directive. why would the protocol not followed? the white house quick talking to me altogether. they said they felt it was not need as robert risers on counterterrorism were in the mix.
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some say we were the ones who are supposed to be on the we would have been able to get resources mobilized, we ones who could've told the principles exactly what is out there. i know for a fact some of the principals who are making these decisions, either they were not being truthful with me or they do not know about all of the resources because we discussed on the telephone when i asked them why certain resources were not use, and indicated they have never heard of such a thing, they did not know the terms i was using. later when i came back to them, they said we do know the terms. they just seemed confused. the counterterrorism experts know all of that. they insist they would have been able to coordinate some sort of response that perhaps would've been better than what we had. host: if you sent an e-mail to the communications office, do they respond at all? guest: no, not now. host: why did the white house not just refrain from commenting until they knew something about the video?
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guest: among the explanations, they said they do not want to interfere with the investigation and they do not want to make ties to think that were tenuous. but the ties to the terrorists, which were actually the strongest, and instead hating on -- handing -- hanging on to ties that were tenuous. i do not make a lot of sense. host: you follow the story of ronald reagan's iran-contra investigation. if the white house digging itself into a hole? are they continuing to use different barriers to get the full story out? guest: it is hard to say. if the media loses interest tomorrow, and may all quietly go away again. if congress decides it is not good for them to hammer away on it, it could fade away like it has off and on over the past
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eight months or died not know how big it is for the obama mistress or mrs. clinton. host: good morning, andrew. caller: good morning. i am curious. nobody is looking at the other side of the coin that when you stand back and look at the picture, you have a north african oil exporting country that we, together with the french and british, have recently destabilized. and whether political or military decision that we did not have access there, or for that matter, that the british or french did not. it is reminiscent of the suez crisis. that: you have to assume it is true that we did not have access there. i'm not sure that that has been firmly decided by all people concerned, although that is definitely the claim.
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there are a lot of energy concerns there. i do not pretend to understand all of those am a but there has been some discussion of part of the motivation of us getting involved over qaddafi could been motivated in part by other concerns such as a natural gas pipeline that libya was getting ready to join that involve the russians, that could audibly things like that. but i cannot say i know a lot about. there could be a lot of other things in place as to why we went into libya besides the obvious reasons. host: two months after general pretorius was critical of the white house scrubbing the talking points memo, he is out of a job. any connection between the two? guest: i always wondered. you would be brain-dead if you did not wonder if there is a connection. now i see how unhappy he seems to be in e-mail that the talking points for change within a fairly short period of time.
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also, right before he lost his job, he had -- his agency had promised to release the surveillance video of the godly, which has never been released. we were supposed to get declassified version. by him being ousted, we never got that. that is one of my questions on the list. just asking for -- additionally, cbs has repeatedly requested promised surveillance it has not been oved. we've also asked for information which is not been responded to. so why is that video -- a version that could be seen by the public around the november time frame, why haven't never been released? coincided with the trays being ousted from office. wondering about the timing. there is a reference to the president speaking toal petraeus thursday, november 8, 2012, about his problems in the sexual scandal. one of my questions -- what the president aware of petraeus'
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potential problems prior to the day that they made him aware that they knew. did petraeus have this hanging over his head -- how long did he have it hanging over his head? that the administration knew something embarrassing about him and were for the moment keeping it quiet. was that any incentive for him to follow the line on something he may be did not agree with? host: what general petraeus respond to any questions? guest: i have not tried. host: nora is calling on the democrats line from new york. caller: this is a farce. and set of looking for not only looking for what happened, but how we cannot have this happen again. i would like to go out to the reporter there. there are over 10 embassies of
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diplomatic attacks in george bush, -- under george bush, and a 60 people were killed. i never heard this outraged when george bush was president. he took us to war, which drained our economy. and all this with president obama and bringing him now hillary clinton, the former secretary of state, to me, it more political than getting at the truth. to republicans cut the aid diplomatic security, but nobody is questioning or saying anything about that. that should be investigated also. guest: i think that has been discussed. i have heard it discussed repeatedly and brought up early
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on as far as the funding question. the color is free to leave this is entirely political and to believe that clinton should be kept out of this. as a reporter, i see her as key to this issue simply because of the position she held at the time that this happened. host: if she runs, clearly this is going to be the first line of questioning when she sits down with reporters. what is your question to her? tost: i think i would like have her -- this is not so much a question as a dialogue. explain everything that happened and i from start to finish. the night of the attack more so than the security, although we have some of those questions answered. weeally want to know -- don't know president obama's actions the night of the attack. we do not have a lot of information about hers. i would like to have a timeline from start to finish on that. also, if i'd a single question, can you show us the evidence that you used to develop your speeches and stories and discussions about the youtube video? one question i asked the white house related to that is about
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the video -- i think it is a really interesting question, maybe a half step off of the main point. but the administration is reported to ask that the video be removed from youtube. if true, what does the administration do with other videos or future material that it may wish were not published that were none the less legal? also when mrs. clinton told the video -- told the families about the video, what was her understanding at the time what would be the grounds for arrest? if summit he made a perfectly legal video that was offensive to some people, what was her idea in her head how she would be arresting this person? those questions have not been answered. host: also on the panel, the question greg hicks asks wednesday. here is a portion of that hearing. [video clip] >> following my return to the united states, i attended chris' funeral in san francisco, then i came back to washington because assistant secretary summoned me to her office
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and she delivered a blistering critique of my management style. she even said -- i do not know why larry pope would want you to come back. she said she did not understand why anybody at the aaa would want me to come back. attack right after the and before the attacks, you had all kinds of praise and your leadership. you got a call from secretary clinton, from the president raising you for your service and how you handled things. was there a seminal moment in your mind to when all of this
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praise and appreciation turned into something else? >> in hindsight, think it began after i asked the question about rice's statement on a sunday morning programs. host: he had set his jaw dropped. guest: a lot of people said the same thing. he had never reported such a thing. ambassador stephens, the phone call to the indices, hicks says he is confident if there had been any sort of protocol -- of protest, the protocol would've been to evacuate the industry. so hicks is confident that it not happen. imagine their surprise when they hear ambassador rice saying these things. hicks was very worried about offending libya's leader saying quite the opposite that this was probably motivated by a terrorist attack motivated by
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terrorism. and he says, roll one in diplomatic circles if you do not hundred and your host country like that. -- rule one in diplomatic circles is you do not contradict your host country like that. there is less evidence for that than what he was saying. host: you broke the story of hillary clinton traveling to bosnia. you are the trip back in 1995. explain what happened. guest: we went on a trip back -- was that 1995? a long time ago. we went to bosnia. chelsea clinton was with us. it was a good trip. she went farther into the demilitarized zone than her husband, the president, had at that point. it was an interesting trip. there was some potential problem for danger they're just because people could be firing at you. it is unlikely, but they did warn us when we were landing of certain things. assault landing, stall take off, that five sort of thing. many years later, when she was running for president, i guess she was telling a story about
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how she had dodged sniper fire in bosnia. i came home from an overseas trip, and it was my husband who said -- did you get shot at in a trip that you are on? i said no. and he said well, mrs. clinton was giving speeches and said you guys were shot at. i said, she must be talking about a different trip. if there's any risk at all, they would not have had had a slant. we were not on a mandatory trip and chelsea clinton was on the plane with us. we would have flown somewhere else. we landed, it was so safe that we landed on the way, mrs. clinton visited with local schoolchildren who were on the runway, photographs with the troops that were there. her account that she was giving, she said that she had dodged bullets and that they had had to duck and run to the car.
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i look through my files, and we have video from that day, so we were able to show that there was nothing of the sort happening. i did not go looking for that story, i do not cover politics, but i had to do that one it fell into my lap. host: let me conclude with the benghazi hearings. five way five hours of testimony this week. where does this go next? the the political side and investigative side? guest: i cannot even begin to predict what happened then who decides, whose advantage this is or how far it goes. but investigative wise, i believe the arb authors will be called back to congress. i think both democrats and republicans have said they have questions. so that may happen. there are a lot of other whistleblowers who are talking to people like me and people in congress who are not yet ready to come forward, but there are people in the cia, the defense
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department, and other state department officials who have more to say. some of it they cannot tell me. span. >> and then the former ambassador looks at the historical and political influence. it examines the military capability within syria and what it means for government and rebel fighters. of aington journal" live synagogue a.m. eastern on c- span. >> post-9/11 a whole lot more people cared about national- security issues than was the case before. for former market
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agencies.security i all these guys who used to operate in the shadows saw a market for their services as commentators and book writers. there was this uncomfortable interaction between the agencies in these former employees. >> at the time i felt water boarding was something we needed to do. as september 11 has moved farther and farther back, i think i have changed my mind. i think water boarding a something we should not be doing. >> we are americans and they're better than that. allhis is a guy who by accounts meant well.
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and to take on terrorism working out of athens before that. for 30ng off to prison months leading his family of time. this feature story. the story of jailed cia officer tonighat >> today on c-span newsmakers with represent thornberry. then a discussion on home grown terrorisms with former f.b.i. irector.
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>> this week, mac thornberry, chairman of the intelligence arm ervices committee. >> we have two reporters to help s with that. >> on friday, abc news reported that the state department played a jo